Thursday, August 6, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Artichoke and Olive Pasta Salad

Do you potluck? A few weeks ago, Brian and I were invited to a big summer soiree. I cringed when the invite said.....potluck or bring your favorite dish. How can anyone have just one?

The word "potluck" is commonly believed to have come from English origin. The earliest written citation is from 1592: "That that pure sanguine complexion of yours may never be famisht with pot lucke," Thomas Nashe. As this shows, the original meaning was "food given away to guests", probably derived from "whatever food one is lucky enough to find in the pot".

The most common usage was within inns, taverns, and staging posts in the United Kingdom from the 16th century onwards. A wealthy traveller might ask what the hosteller had to offer to eat, and be told 'chicken', or 'beef' etc., and choose it. The poorer traveller might have to do with 'pot luck', a stew of whatever was left over from the fare of the last few days or weeks. Having usually been boiled many times over, it was safe enough, and often tasty, though its nutritional value was often low. Accompanied by starchy foods like bread or potatoes, however, the traveller might go to bed well satisfied.

I hope that everyone at Paul and Christine's were well satisfied with this salad.



Artichoke and Olive Pasta Salad

Adapted from the Spice House

Serves 10


2 pounds dried pasta, tri-color rotini or bowties

1 can (10-12 count) artichoke hearts

1 jar green olives, sliced

1 can sliced black olives

1/2 large red onion, diced

1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved (I like the grape variety)

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

juice of half a lemon

1 Heaping Tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/2 to 1 cup olive oil - I whisked well and added more oil to taste; however I don't think 1 cup

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste


1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil. Slowly add contents of boxes of pasta, and cook per box instructions.

2. While pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Drain liquid from the artichoke hearts and green and black olives. Place the vegetables in a large stainless steel, or glass, bowl. Dice the onions and add to bowl. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to bowl. Toss all ingredients in the bowl. Set aside.

3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Add the Italian seasoning and black pepper, and stir. Drizzle the olive oil in slowly, while vigorously whisking to incorporate it into the mixture. Set aside.

4. Drain the pasta and run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well! Once cooled, add pasta to the bowl of vegetables and mix. Add the dressing to the salad and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Lastly, toss in Parmesan cheese and mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Let salad come to room temperature before serving.

Recipe courtesy of The Spice House

Image from Google