My Oven Made Me Do It

For several weeks, I was oven-less. Well, I had an oven because it’s what my stove sits on. But, every time I tried to pre-heat the darn thing, my kitchen would smell like a gas leak. I have a fear of exploding houses, so I decided until I could get it fixed, I wouldn’t be baking anything.

This was fine by me as the insane heat outside doesn’t lend itself to warm bread smells inside. But, how else am I supposed to get my carb load on? Dear me! Whatever will I do? Before the panic set in, I was able to grab hold of the pasta salad idea. Cold pasta on a hot summer day. Perfect. And, all I had to do was boil a pot of water on the still functioning stovetop.

I scoured the internet for something a bit different (Five minutes with the appropriate keywords). And, I came across this slightly weirdo recipe called Avocado Pasta Salad. Now, it sounds normal enough when you do a quick glance. Pasta, onions, olives, spices. And, then you really read some of the ingredients. You want peas and apples in this thing? Plus cold veggies? OK, I’ll give it a whirl.

Avocado Pasta Salad

Serves 10

  • ½ a 12 oz package of rotini (and, yes, I love carbs so I used the entire box)
  • 1 C halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 C peeled, diced apple
  • ½ C sliced carrot
  • ½ C diced celery
  • ½ C peas
  • ½ C diced red bell pepper
  • ½ C sliced black olives
  • ¼ C diced red onion
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • ⅓ C olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 T chopped fresh dill
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t ground black pepper
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley, or more as needed

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook corkscrew-shaped pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 10 to 12 minutes. (Or, how about following the directions on the package? Mine was significantly less.) Drain and cool.

Mix pasta, tomatoes, apple, carrot, celery, peas, red bell pepper, black olives, and red onion together in a large bowl.

Whisk avocado, olive oil, lime juice, dill, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder together in a separate bowl until smooth; stir into pasta salad to coat; garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Results

So, you would think that this would taste odd. I mean, there are quite a number of disparate items in here. But, even though I loathe peas and I am not a fan of olives, this worked. And, it’s pasta salad so it is completely acceptable to have a small pile of whatever you don’t like sitting on the side of your plate when you’re done. (At least, in my mind it’s OK. If not, I’d have to eat a lot more peas. Yuck.)

Avocado Pasta Salad

One thought for adults: Even when they’re mashed, avocados do what avocados do… turn brown. So, mix up the dressing as late as possible and mix it in directly before serving. You can have all of the diced bits and pasta hang out in the fridge beforehand. They’ll be OK. Also, know that any leftovers will have a slight brown tinge. It’s still good to eat. Just pretend like you made the recipe with whole wheat pasta. You’re so healthy with your leftovers!

One thought for children: Although a fan of all of the ingredients, Mr. Moo was not a fan of this salad. I think the thicker dressing freaked him out a bit.

I probably won’t make this salad again, but I do like the idea of the dressing and might play around with it to see if I can get a better consistency for leaf salad.

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