Monday, August 17, 2009

Pasta Salad

I'm a member of a new social network for those with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Gluten-free Faces was started by Chad Hines known as Glutenfreedude on Twitter. On Gluten-free Faces, I am a member of the recipe exchange group. The recipe group was started by Cain Credicott the blog author of The Celiac Maniac.

His post, Citrus chicken pasta salad looked so good I had to try it, that night. I had a few problems making it. I didn't have any chicken, walnuts, green onions, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, nor a can of whole black olives. It was time to do some free styling.

I started by cooking a can of garbanzo beans for 20 minutes. This was added to my serving of the salad. Ken and Lisa were eating grilled steak so, they didn't need the beans, besides Ken doesn't like garbanzo beans.

Cain's salad called for chopped red onions and green onions. I simply ignored the lack of green onions. I don't care much for raw onions-unless they're green. I lightly sautéed the red onions in 2 tsp of olive oil.

His dressing seemed too spicy for my taste, although not for Ken's, who said I should have followed the recipe. If he knew chicken was in the salad, he wouldn't have said that. I cut the amount of pepper in half. Instead of Dijon mustard I used a teaspoon of dry mustard powder. The one thing I would change about the dressing for next time is to homogenize it for a creamier dressing.

I was going to use pecans instead of the walnuts, but decided on almonds in the end. The problem I had with this choice was Cain roasted the walnuts in the oven. I'm not complaining. It's nice to finally have some warmth this summer, it's just that, it's too warm to want the oven on. I had this other problem; the almonds were whole. So I ran the almonds in a mini chopper. I had a bad mix of almond powder and big chucks.

Then, I made the mistake of trying to dry roast them in the pan I sautéed the onions in. The powdered part of the almonds stuck to the bottom of the pan and burned. Through a little bit a shaking and stirring I got most of the big chucks to one side and the powdered part to the other, allowing me to scoop out the burned part. For next time, I'm keeping slivered almonds on hand.

Finally, while putting this together I was sure this salad was begging for a chopped up apple. So I gave it one, skin and all.

Introducing the pasta salad inspired by Cain Credicott's salad.

Tossed Citrus Pasta salad

Start with what can be made the day before if desired.


Place in blender and turn on the lowest setting.

1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dry mustard powder
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Fleischman's apple cider vinegar

Open the top of the blender and pour 4 Tbs of olive oil in a thin slow steady stream. Place dressing in a jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Now, cook 1 15oz can of Garbanzo beans for twenty minutes, then drain.

For those with a stronger stomach than mine the cooking may not be necessary. Either place beans in a jar and store in the fridge until ready.

½ cup of slivered almonds, dry roasted.

To dry roast any nut simply place in a frying pan on medium heat and stir constantly. Slivered almonds will burn quickly, keep a close eye on them. Roast until desired brownness. If using an iron frying pan don't leave the nuts in the pan when you remove it from the heat, it will keep cooking.

For best taste and nutrition the rest of the ingredients should be prepared at the same time you put the salad together.

1 10 oz. box of Glutino rice penne noodles cooked according to the package directions. Rinse in cold water.

1 cup finely chopped red onions slightly sautéed

3/4 cup chopped celery

3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1 2.25 0z. can of sliced black olives

1 small, diced, red apple

Although we ate the salad right away, I think one hour chilling time in the refrigerator would improve it.