Monday, 9 November 2009

PPN Pasta Salad

It is hot. It is the hottest November week in Melbourne on record since 1902. Today was a high of 35 C. It was still 24 C at midnight! Too hot. I'm hot and sweaty even as midnight approaches.

At 11am it was 28 C so I made dodgy banana berry muffins like these but using some baby oat flour as well as quinoa flour before it got any hotter. They weren’t great but I wanted to use up some bananas and Sylvia’s oat cereal that she is not eating. I cut up fruit to make a fruit salad a bit like this to have on hand. It is wonderfully refreshing. Less refreshing but oh so moreish is a new (and now melty) cashew and cherry chocolate I spied at the supermarket yesterday.

Sylvia and I have been drinking lots of fluids, eating watermelon, and dozing on the bed together. Not good weather for my baby or my cat. I would prefer to be in an air-conditioned office when it is so hot.

It is days like these I feel regret that we can’t run under a sprinkler outside. Sprinklers are outlawed in our drought and even if they weren’t, we don’t go outside in such heat because sunshine on a day like this means sunburn means skin cancer. Oh for those innocent summers of childhood. We lay in bed on hot nights and hoped mum would put the sprinkler close enough to the open window that drops of water would cool us down.

This is salad weather. I’ve been making lots and eating lots of simple salads. On the weekend I had a barbecue at my parents’ house with lots of lovely salads. Rice salad. Garden salad. Colesaw.

Last night I made pasta salad. I ate it again for lunch. Pasta salad can be heavy with too much pasta and/or too much creamy dressing. This one was just right with lots of vegetables so I am sharing what I did.

I am sending this salad to Chaya of Sweet and Savoury Says it All, who is hosting this week's s Presto Pasta Night (#139), an event founded by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.

Pesto Pasta Salad
Serves 2-3

  • 200g pasta – a bit less than a dessert bowl
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • handful parsley, finely chopped
  • handful snow peas, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 2 dessertspoons yoghurt
  • 1 dessertspoon mayonnaise
  • 1 dessertspoon pesto

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the packet. Meanwhile chop vegetables and put into large salad bowl, setting asparagus aside. Just before turning off heat on pasta, add asparagus. Drain and rinse under cold water. Toss with vegetables, yoghurt, mayonnaise and pesto.

On the Stereo:
This is My Life: Shirley Bassey


  1. It is HOT isn't it! I'm working through a bowl of asian coleslaw I made over the weekend because I can't bring myself to think about eating hot food, let alone cooking anything!

    Think I'm going to have to give this pasta salad a shot - looks delicious, and most importantly, cooling!


  2. I am so feeling the salad-love at the moment. That second photo with all the carrots looks DELICIOUS.

  3. Thanks Hannah - it is hard to get enthused about food when it is hot - pasta, burgers and salad are my stand-bys - hope you enjoy the salad

    Thanks Steph - I included this photo just to show how many vegies were in the salad - which I really enjoyed

  4. We've been hearing about your heat wave over here! Hope you are all hanging in and finding ways to keep cool(er).

    The pasta salad looks wonderful--I am such a fan of pasta salad in summer, especially those that include pesto!

  5. I love recipes with vegetables and you surely have lots of them. They transfor pasta. A great dish which I am so glad you shared with Presto Pasta Nights.

  6. Thanks Ricki - the heat wave just seems too early - but it is cooler today and pasta salad always helps

    Thanks Sweet and Savoury - lots of vegetables are always welcome in our house for any dish but they do make such a difference with pasta

  7. Yum this looks fabulous! So much green in one place makes me happy, especially when part of that green is pesto! If you want I will trade you the cold weather for the warmth. It's been in the 40's here in NYC...

  8. Pesto pasta salad is my favorite! I've never tried it with yoghurt before. I'm about to make a batch of pesto from my garden and will try it!

  9. Yum your pesto pasta salad looks perfect! Though I think I'll wait for warmer weather to try it. All I can think about right now is soup and warm foods!

  10. How strange it is to read that in November the temperature is 35C anywhere in the world, when it's -5C here in Nova Scotia, Canada.

    That said, I'm bookmarking your gorgeous pasta salad for our first hit of heat!

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. I do hope it cools down a bit for you.


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