It was a few hours before the Giants’ game and I wasn’t hungry yet, but I would be when I got to the game. Ballpark food is so expensive, and truth be told, not that great. Although there’s something to be said for steamed hot dog in a warm bun with yellow mustard and chopped onion. That’s four bucks and I can’t have just one, which means going down in the fourth inning or so and standing in line for another. I have trained myself to buy only one eight dollar beer, though.
A pasta salad would be good, and good for me, but I wasn’t in the mood for the Asian noodle salad that I’ve made in the past for ball games.
I dived into my recipe archives. With the Internet, there are a gazillion recipes out there, many good, most bad. In addition to all the free sites, food company sites and blogs, I subscribe to the Cook’s Illustrated website for the tried and true. I do have a bone to pick with CI, it seems to me that if I subscribe to their magazine, and have for years, I ought to get the website for free, or at least at a healthy discount. I enjoy leafing through the magazine when it comes in the mail; it’s a pleasant experience. But NO, the website is the same price as the magazine and there are no deals to be had. The website is a different experience. Even if you “browse” the current issue on the web, it’s not like turning those pages of heavy matt stock. But the website has the archives and easily searched recipes. I gave up the magazine. Bummer. But I digress.
On the CI website, I found Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Olives written: 7/1998. That recipe is in one of my Cook’s Illustrated magazines, now stored in boxes, but good luck a) knowing it was there, or b) finding it. With the web, it was a piece o’ cake, or perhaps a piece o’ pasta. The recipe looked kind of boring for a salad to take to the ball game, but it provided a good go-by.
Here’s my recipe with my cooking notes:
Pasta Salad for the Ball Game
Adapted from CI to take to the ball game 8.07, added red bell pepper, sausage and substituted red wine vinegar for lemon juice.
DIS is good!
3/4 pounds broccoli cut into bite-size pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced [I would have preferred a red pepper, but had a yellow pepper in the crisper.]
2 Italian sausages, cooked, quartered and diced [grilled]
1/2 cup Newman’s Own Red Wine Vinegar Dressing
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound fusilli,
10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
10 fresh basil leaves, shredded
1. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon or a spider and cool to room temperature.
1a. Peel and cube red pepper.
1b. Cook and dice sausage.
2. Meanwhile, take your Newman’s, put it in a jar, add garlic and pepper and shake it.
3. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water [the same water you used to blanch your broccoli]. Cook until pasta is al dente and drain.
4. Shake dressing again to blend and pour it into a bowl; add hot pasta, cooled broccoli, red pepper, sausage, olives, and basil; toss to mix thoroughly. Cool to room temperature, adjust seasonings, and serve, or pack it into containers for the ball game.
Excellent! and no standing in line.
A day later, thinking about lunch, I thought about the leftover pasta salad. I generally have soup for lunch. What’s the difference, hot, cold, liquid, no liquid.
Here’s what my American Heritage College Dictionary has to say:
sal ·ad n
A cold dish of chopped fruit, meat, fish, eggs, or other food, usually prepared with a dressing.
A liquid food prepared from meat, fish, or vegetable stock and often containing solid ingredients.
Heck, I could make a soup from the pasta salad, same stuff with broth, but it should have a little more oomph, a potato and a carrot. I had a few leftover green beans, too; they won’t hurt. Add some chicken broth, and it’s soup.
If I were to recipe-write that, it would look like this:
Soup From Salad
2 cups leftover pasta salad
1 cup diced potato
1 cup diced carrot
some cooked green beans (or not)
3 cups chicken broth (about)
Put the potatoes and carrots in a saucepan and barely cover with broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.
Add the salad and green beans to the pan and cover with broth. Simmer for another few minutes until everything is heated through and the flavors have had time to mingle.
The soup was as good as the salad.
That makes a gazillion-and-two recipes that I have to choose from.