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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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June 16, 2011

Recipe for shrimp and edamame salad with sesame ginger vinaigrette


When the weather is hot and the kitchen is hotter, and cooking is the last thing you want to do, reach into your pantry and you'll find almost everything you need for this healthy shrimp and edamame salad with its tangy sesame ginger vinaigrette. Stores like Trader Joe's and Costco sell bags of shelled edamame, cooked or ready-to-cook, and while I don't consider edamame (soybeans) a pantry staple, I often keep a bag on hand. Frozen shrimp are an indispensable fixture in my pantry, and all of the ingredients in the dressing also have permanent residence here. After my friend Chelsea and I made and photographed this salad, and ate it for lunch, we thought some black sesame seeds sprinkled on for garnish would have looked nice. When you make this, go ahead and sprinkle.

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June 9, 2011

Recipe for quinoa, avocado, tomato and black bean salad with chipotle lime dressing {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Quinoa and vegetable salad with chipotle lime dressing.

If you don't already own a rice cooker, promise me that you will buy one. (You can buy a cute model that sings when the rice is done, or one that doesn't sing. It won't matter.) You will make great rice with it, of course, and you'll make the best quinoa ever. I didn't cook quinoa very often before learning the super-easy rice cooker method from Karina, the Gluten-Free Goddess. This salad combines quinoa with avocado, tomato, cucumber, black beans and onion, tossed with a dressing that gets its kick from canned chipotle chiles in adobo. Start with one chipotle, and add a second one if you dare.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, 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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