Pasta Salad with Tomato, Olive and Herbs

From Cooks Illustrated - May / June 2008

I wasn't expecting too much from this recipe, just a simple fill in for a summer grilled dinner. In fact, 10 days later I can no longer remember the dinner. Maybe it was steak, but it I'm not sure. But the real reason for the memory lapse is because THIS dish came up by surprise and wowed me and Ms. Finn.

As with most CI recipes, this one was developed with extensive "scientific" experimentation in the kitchen. The secret to success is mostly in well chosen proportions and one sleeper ingredient - fresh toasted bread crumbs.

Oh.....I just remembered - it was grilled ground lamb patties on skewers - from the June Gourmet. Good idea, not enough seasoning. Quite bland, enough so that the kids liked them after all. And it was a little tricky to get the logs of ground lamb to stay wholly formed while on the grill. Close - but not enough make it again.

Back to the pasta. Fresh bread crumbs toasted in oil with garlic were added to a pretty pedestrian pasta salad with tomato, olives and more garlic. The recommended pasta was farfalle or other mid-sized tubes which is a good match for olive quarters and tomato cubes. The quatity of olives was excessive - 1C for a pound of pasta (or was it, incredibly, a half pound - dear lord). So I cut that back.

The additional mouth feel of the bread crumbs tied together the core ingredients. Seasoning was spot on. This is a keeper. In fact, I can't wait to go back and check the recipe for variations. I hope they published some!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I made my way here as a result of your dorkfest entry. I am a real life friend of Michael5000, and have never felt the need to blog. I like the idea you have here though. I used to add cards to my recipe box for special meals I want to remember, but I have fallen out of the habit. I may finally start a blog! -Lisa

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