It’s Summer Picnic Time

I’m taking a break from my normal posts, whatever that is, to bring you a recipe that goes well at any picnic/pot-luck. I first ran across this recipe on the Cooking Echo – a peer-to-peer, Dial-up network back in the 80s. I’ve built this for many events, and though I bring home some each time, it’s not much.

De-Yuppified Pasta Salad

What makes this De-Yuppified? No Oil, No Vinegar. And no Mayo itself on the ingredients list, though there might be some in the Ranch Dressing. So I try to keep it cool, and not let it sit in the sun.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb Tri-Color Rotini
1 cup carrott
1 cup Green Pepper
1 small Red Onion
1 tsp Tarragon
1 tsp Basil
Ranch Dressing
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

INSTRUCTIONS
Tri-Color Rotini might be hard to find, sometimes I’ve found Tri-Color Sea-Shell pasta. But if you can’t find either go ahead and use a plain white pasta, it won’t be as colorful a dish. Cook the Rotini follow the instructions on the package. Then rinse and cool.

While the pasta is cooling cut the carrots into small slices, and the green pepper into small bits. Don’t worry about the measure – I only list 1 cup each as a general target. Put the Carrot and pepper pieces into a pan of boiling water, cook for a minute or so, just long enough so they are “not too loud”.

Chop the red onion into small pieces.

When everything is cool, add them all to a large pot, I use a Crock from my Crock-Pot. Mix to distribute all the pieces evenly. Into a small bowl, add the basil and tarragon to about half a bottle of Ranch Dressing. Stir well.

Now add the dressing mix to the pasta mix. Stir well to evenly coat everything. If you feel it’s too dry, add more Ranch Dressing. When that all feels good to you, add shredded Parmesan Cheese. Again, the amount isn’t critical, add to your taste.

Add a lid to the container, put it in the fridge till it’s time to eat. Keep notes, as you may want to adjust the amounts next time to your taste.

NOTES
As I said, the quantities are only meant as a guideline. You could even double some of them without making too much of a mess. Somewhere between half and a full bottle of Ranch Dressing will be about right, Same with the Shredded Parmesan Cheese. These really depend on your taste.

I keep this cool, sometimes I sit it in a pan of ice if the day is hot, but definitely out of the sun, I want people to remember my food and want to try it again.

The original recipe mentioned adding some Chicken. And adding some tomato pieces, if there is a roadside farmers stand with fresh tomatoes I’ll add them, but I don’t use those hard, almost pink things one can find in the chain Grocery store – I don’t really consider them edible.

Depending on your taste, Salt and Pepper can be added.

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About Mike

I'm an avid bicyclist, that also enjoys Kayaking, Nature Photography, Cross Country Skiing and Geocaching. There's nothing more boring than sitting indoors in "good" weather.
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