Friday, July 6, 2012

Gluten Free Summer Pasta Salad

I tend to be the person who buys a lot of the freshest vegetables at the farmer’s market, excited by all the possibilities, but once I get home and am hungry, I’m stumped for new ideas.  My favorite go-to (and very easy) recipe involves simply sautéing vegetables and then tossing them with pasta.
The Chicago summers have kicked into high gear (103 degrees today!) and with it goes my desire to prepare complicated meals.  Washing and cutting vegetables is very soothing to me (I am a huge dork) but the last thing I want is a meal that is going to raise the heat in my kitchen or require me to keep a diligent watch over my pans.  After adding the garlic, these vegetables only require a few seconds of stirring here and there.

This is such a basic recipe; swap in whatever vegetables you have and use your available herbs.  My basil plant just started having leaves big enough to eat, so I could not add as much as I would have liked.  As the summer continues, I’m sure to be repeating this recipe.  On unbearably hot nights, this makes a delicious cold summer dinner that is packed with veggies to keep me going.

Summer Pasta Salad
1 package of gluten free noodles (I used brown rice noodles from Trader Joe’s)
2 T olive oil + a splash
1 clove of garlic, minced.
1 summer squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 large handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
A few leaves of chopped basil or other fresh herbs
salt and pepper

Prepare the noodles according to the package’s directions, adding salt and a splash of olive oil to the water.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook until aromatic (about 30 seconds).  Add in the summer squash and zucchini and sauté until just tender.  Add in the tomatoes and herbs and cook for an additional two minutes.  Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with the noodles.  Serve warm or cold.

What do you eat to beat the heat?

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