In anticipation of those dreadful summer days I am already exploring cool summery recipes. Come summers – well, its already here considering the temperature is already soaring as high as 35 degress we all need to plan our diet to include fresh vegetables, fruits a plenty. Salads will surely be a part of our daily menu. Like this Summer salad made with everyday vegetables with a generous drizzle of Lemon Pepper vinaigrette.
On my recent visit to Bangalore to spend two days with my friend of 15 yrs sans the little boy and the husband I explored few food stores in the city and was spoilt for choices. I was like a little girl in a candy store who didn’t know what to buy and what to leave. What first caught my fancy was the variety of peppers – I didn’t know of more than 3 kinds and here there were more than 10! There was pink , long and green pepper that I was seeing for the first time. Ideas started flooding my head and I picked up an assortment of 6 kinds of pepper.There were hoards of other stuffs I picked up which would need a dedicated post I suppose. Coming back to my Summer salad with a dressing of lemon pepper vinaigrette using some pretty pink peppers! Those peppers were a revelation..very sweet at the first bite with a woody fiery after kick to it. I couldn’t resist eating those while I prepared the dressing.
- This salad is best served chiiled. You can use whatever fresh vegetable that catches your fancy!
- Instead of pink pepper use normal black pepper and white pepper.
- Rice wine vinegar can be substituted with apple cider or even normal vinegar.
- Penne pasta - 1 cup - boiled al dente - follow instruction given on the packet
- Cucumber - 1 cup - diced
- Red bell pepper - half cup - diced
- Cherry tomatoes - a handful - halved
- Green olives - a handful - halved
- Oilve oil - ¼th cup
- Rice wine vinegar - 1 tsp
- Lime juice - 1 tbsp
- Pink pepper - 1 tbsp. - crushed
- Black pepper - 1 tbsp. - crushed
- Coarse sea salt - 1 tbsp. - crushed
- Fresh mint leaves - few sprigs - roughly chopped for garnish
- Lettuce or any other salad leaves - few leaves for garnish
- Grated Parmesan cheese - for garnish - optional
- For the vinaigrette:
- Mix together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar,lime juice, crushed pepper and salt. Give it a good stir and keep aside.
- This dressing can easily be stored for later use .
- For assembling the salad:
- Line a salad bowl with the salad leaves. Toss together the pasta, diced cucumber, red bell pepper, tomatoes, olives into the salad bowl. Put in a good drizzle of the vinaigrette. Give it a good mix. Throw in the chopped mint leaves and some grated parmesan. Serve chilled.