May 24, 2012

Recipe for curried chicken pasta salad with apricots and cashews

Curried chicken pasta salad, with sweet raisins. #pasta #chicken

Old-fashioned curried chicken salad, the kind you find in the supermarket deli case, seldom floats my boat. Too much curry powder makes it bitter; too much celery overpowers the curry. Too much mayonnaise drowns it all. If that sounds familiar, then this curried chicken pasta salad with apricots and cashews just might restore your faith. Start with big chunks of chicken, add your favorite small pasta (I love the mini penne and mini bow ties), some crunchy Granny Smith apple, plump dried apricots, and cashews. Use mango-studded Major Grey's chutney in the dressing. Make all of the components ahead, and combine at the last minute for a very fresh, fruity, un-gloppy chicken salad.

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March 25, 2012

Recipe for broccoli slaw salad with honey-mustard yogurt dressing {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Broccoli slaw salad with honey mustard yogurt dressing #salad

No doubt about it -- I'm a stem gal. Always have been, always will be. Yes, broccoli florets are sexier, but I've always been partial to the stems. Peel them and slice them, or julienne with your mandoline. Or, let someone else do the work while you buy ready-to-cook broccoli slaw from the supermarket. That's what I do, and as a result, I'm eating a lot more fiber-filled, Vitamin D-rich, detoxifying broccoli these days. This version of broccoli slaw salad, with honey-mustard yogurt dressing and the tartness of lime, makes a perfect side dish for grilled beef, chicken or fish.

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February 7, 2012

Recipe for Greek pasta salad with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette {vegetarian}

Greek pasta salad #vegetarian #picnic #salad

In a typical winter, we'd be tromping through snow banks, shoveling our paths, digging out our cars, waiting for the plow guy to come and extricate our driveway. This year (and I don't mean to jinx us by saying this), we've had February days warm enough for T-shirts and sidewalk café dining. Everything here in southern New England seems out of season; if you don't believe me, wander in my garden, where rosemary, thyme, oregano and even parsley still show some green. It's not quite as warm here as the Greek Isles, but the sight of fresh herbs in my mid-winter garden makes me crave Mediterranean flavors. For this Greek pasta salad, I reached into the pantry for the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette ingredients. You might want to make extra dressing, to keep in the refrigerator for a quick sauce for warm pasta, a dip for crudites, or a sandwich slather.

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July 26, 2011

Recipe for cold sesame noodles {vegetarian}

Cold sesame noodles, just like your favorite takeout restaurant.

Earlier this summer, my husband Ted and I, and our friends Mary and Matt, snagged lawn tickets to hear James Taylor in concert at Tanglewood, in the beautiful Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts. Picnics, complete with candles and wine, are de rigeur at Tanglewood, and our annual tradition involves shopping at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield for salads, cheese, and fruit for our picnic basket. On a hunch, we bought a double portion of cold sesame noodles, and I'm glad we did; we ate every bit. When a dish grabs hold of your taste memory and won't let go, you must beg, borrow or steal the recipe and make that dish your own.

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July 12, 2011

Picnic-perfect tortellini and shrimp salad recipe

Tortellini and shrimp salad recipe, with tomatoes or peppers and garden-fresh herbs, will be welcome at any summer picnic or potluck. #salad #shrimp #pasta

Cold pasta salad -- three words that strike fear in the hearts of buffet diners everywhere. No way, not me, can't stand it, they say. I understand. Nobody likes pasta drowning in dressing. So, if you think you'd rather get a root canal than eat pasta salad, I promise you that this recipe will change your mind. The secret? Pour off excess dressing not absorbed by the warm pasta, and add it back in right before you serve. Perfect for picnics and potlucks, this tortellini and shrimp salad makes a hearty main course. Omit the shrimp and add more vegetables for an equally satisfying vegetarian version.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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