Some beautiful food came and went through my kitchen this week but unfortunately I did not manage to photograph it. I made the dishes quickly and served them to a crowd (lots of house guests this week) so there was no time for me to “do my thing” with the photography. Lentils with roasted peppers and feta, roasted vegetables, fresh grilled corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer pasta, peaches and cream, summer cakes all came and left without a trace, lingering only in memories.
I find that in the summer I am inspired by the beautiful produce and make many uncomplicated, vegetable centered meals. I glaze carrots with olive oil and briefly roast them in the oven or on the grill. I steam green and yellow beans and serve them with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. I roast small beets and serve hot or cold with goat cheese and walnuts. Tomatoes work their magic in many summer salads and also get slowly roasted to caramelized perfection in a slow oven. I serve crisp cucumbers on their own, sprinkled with crunchy maldon salt flakes. Zucchini, green and yellow are quickly sauteed, sprinkled with herbs and served from pan to plate while they still retain a slight crunch. The list goes on. How fun is that?
I made this pasta salad the other day to take on the boat with my foodie friends. It was quick and easy to prepare, traveled well and was just right with a glass of chilled Pinot Gris after an evening swim. I had multi coloured pasta in the pantry shaped in wide tubes with ridges surface, not sure what the name of this shape is but it was a nice pasta for this salad and the multi colours that made it look vibrant. I mixed in both roasted and a few raw vegetables and served it not too cold, kind of room temperature and I think it worked. The quantities are really not important, use a handful of this and a handful of that and it will work just fine.
4 summer carrots, multi coloured if you have them.
2 summer zucchini, green and yellow
A large handful of yellow or green beans yellow beans
1 cup freshly shelled green peas
2 summer cucumbers, slices
4 radishes, sliced
1 cup Italian style marinated olives, pitted and chopped
1 cup parsley pesto
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a large pinch of salt and the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and toss with some of the pesto.
Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and a pinch of sugar.
Cut the zucchini into chunks and toss with olive oil.
Place carrots and zucchini on a baking sheet and roast in 400F oven until cooked through and golden. Remove, let cool and then chop into bite size peices.
Cut the beans into smaller pieces and steam under crunchy-tender.
Add the carrots, zucchini, beans, peas, cucumbers, radishes and olives to the pasta.
Add more of the pesto as needed and toss gently.
Scatter the feta cheese on top.
Serve at room temperature.