Daily Archives: 27 August 2010

Pot Luck to Go

This is my final blog for the Loving Local Blogathon. If you didn’t read any of my posts earlier this week, the Loving Local blogathon coincides with Massachusetts Farmers Market week, which ends tomorrow, Saturday August 28. The blogathon, spearheaded by In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens, is to promote awareness and enthusiasm for locally produced food and to raise money for Mass Farmers’ Markets.

The sun finally came out and I still have quite a bit of the vegetables from my trip to the Lexington Farmers’ Market on Tuesday. Tonight, I was going to a end-of-summer get-together with my colleagues from work. The hostess is a fabulous cook, usually making Indian dishes.

I didn’t want to arrive emptyhanded, so I decided to bring a dish. It had to be something I could prepare before I left for work, but also something that would taste fresh at the end of the day. After browsing lots of cookbooks, I put together pieces of a few different recipes to come up with a pasta salad with fresh summer vegetables with an lime-peanut dressing to give it an Asian-inspired flair. All the vegetables were either from Tuesday’s market or from a local farmstand. I also added a handful of basil from my own backyard garden.

I thought it worked out well. I tossed the cooked pasta with some oil so it wouldn’t clump together during the day. I cooked and chopped the vegetables and stored them in a separate container. I put the chopped peanuts in another container and the dressing in a jar. All of this fit into a large canvas bag that I could stash in the office refrigerator for the day, then carry to the party and toss together there.

I used the vegetables I had on hand: string beans, corn on the cob, peppers, scallions, and cucumbers. You should definitely take a cue from what is fresh right now.

Asian-Inspired Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables
Serves 8-10 as a side dish (make half for less people)

1 lb rotini pasta
1 Tbsp oil
1 cucumber, seeded and diced (peeled or unpeeled as you prefer)
2 ears corn (cook, then remove the kernels)
1/4 lb string beans (green, purple, wax, or any combination), cut into 1-inch pieces, cooked
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 scallions, sliced thin
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1½ Tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1½ Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp brown sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • Salt to taste

Combine all the dressing ingredients in the blender and process until smooth.

Boil a large pot of water, and cook the pasta until al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain and toss with 1 Tbsp oil.

Toss the pasta with the chopped vegetables. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss well.

Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.