Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brown Rice Pasta Salad

What's a relatively healthy way to empty out the refrigerator? Pizzas are always a good way (not necessarily healthy, I suppose), but I also like being able to make a big batch of pasta salad and eat it as lunch for a week. It stays in the fridge fine, and actually starts to taste better the longer you leave it alone, as the flavors will all begin to meld together.

16 oz. brown rice pasta (I used fusilli), fully cooked
8 oz. mozzarella, cubed
4 oz. Genoa salami, thick slices cut into 6 wedges each
4 oz. sandwich-sized pepperoni, thick slices cut into 6 wedges each
4 oz. baby broccoli, chopped roughly
3 oz. Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1 small shallot, diced
1 handful Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1 oz. fresh basil, chiffonade
8 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
Olive oil, red wine vinegar, pepper, fresh parmesan, pepperoncinis

This is extremely easy to put together - the hard part is the preparation, cutting and cleaning everything. Using tongs, mix the pasta, mozzarella, meats, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, shallot, tomatoes and herbs together. Add olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste, then add fresh ground pepper, parmesan cheese, and pepperoncinis to taste. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

See? Isn't that easy? Like I said before, the taste only improves with time, so if you wait a day or two before you start eating this, don't feel like you missed out on anything. Feel free to use whatever you'd like in this recipe, you definitely don't need to use what I listed. I just suggest that you use some meats (or mushrooms for vegetarian, maybe tofu?), veggies, tomatoes are always good in these, a couple cheeses, herbs, onion, and olive oil with vinegar of your choice. The specifics are all up to the person making it.

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