This morning I was harvesting tomatoes in the garden, pulling weeds and cursing out hornworms. August is when my garden takes over from me. Or, rather, I resign to it. What hasn’t worked this year is long since wilted or pulled, and what’s struggling along is unlikely to persevere. What’s left is the harvest, and every year it’s a bit of a surprise even though every plant and seed were considered far in advance. Last year we were drowning in zucchini, but this year the vine borers got to most of them. This year it’s kale that’s decided to take the lead. After a small rabbit and ground hog-induced setback, the collards aren’t far behind. It’s dinner theater at its best.
Along with this comes pails and pails of vegetables that have no hope of all fitting into our small, apartment-sized fridge. Some sit on the counter, some goes to the Germantown Community Cupboard, our food pantry, some gets frozen for winter, and much gets chopped up into more easily-stored bits and mixed into dishes like this dairy-free vegan pasta salad.
We most recently made this pasta salad for our birthday bonfire, and always make a full recipe even if less would do because it keeps so well in the fridge for an easy lunch. The core recipe is three cups of raw veggies, a cup of chopped herbs, and a simple vinaigrette, so alter it to what you’re excited about this season. Don’t skimp on the olive oil, though, and use the best you have around. It really makes a difference. We’ve been loving Frankies 457 Spuntino Extra Virgin Olive Oil after being gifted a bottle by a friend.
Summer Pasta Salad
- 1 lb short pasta, like penne or farfalle
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- Three handfuls of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1/3 cup basic, minced
- 1/3 cup dill, minced
- 1/3 cup parsley, minced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup of the best olive oil you have
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients except pasta in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
- Cook pasta to al dente, drain, and let cool
- Add pasta and mix to combine.
- Drizzle a little more olive oil on top
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Keeps for up to a week.