Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Broccoli Pasta Salad

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A week ago I was supposed to go to a Pot Luck lunch/meeting with the other Senior Missionaries.  It ended up that for reasons of health I was not able to go, however I had already made this delicious salad to take.  However some of the younger missionaries came over to borrow our BBQ for an activity they were having that day and so I gave the salad to them to have with their Hot Dogs and Burgers.  They were pretty happy about that!

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I was pretty happy about that aas well because it meant that this delicious salad was not going to go to waste.  Result!

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It's really colourful with plenty of greens and reds . . .  crispy tender broccoli (mildly blanched) and sweet green English petit pois . . .

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 Pretty red cherry tomatoes  . . .  glistening like jewels amongst all that green . . .

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I used two kinds of cheese and I used the lower fat versions of those  . . . an orange coloured strong cheddar and a strong white cheddar.  One cut into cubes for looks and texture and the other grated so that it kind of melts into the dressing . . .

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You will want to use a type of pasta that will grab onto the dressing and hold it.   I used "Gnocchi Sardi" which is a traditional pasta coming from Sardinia.  It has a slight cup to it and lots of ridges.  Just perfect.

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The dressing itself was a type of homemade Ranch style dressing.  You could use bottled of course, but I like to make my own using fresh herbs if I can.  No preservatives or chemicals.  It's delicious!

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There is also a bit of crisp streaky bacon in the mix . . .  coz, well, you can never have enough bacon can you?  Feedback from the Missionaries was 10 out of 10 and they say I am the best cook in the Zone.  Well, I doubt that very much, but it is still nice to hear.  ☺  Enjoy!

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*Broccoli Pasta Salad*
Serves 8

I love this broccoli salad because you blanch the broccoli first and it not only gives it a lovely bright green colour, but is easier on my tummy.  The dressing is amazing.  You want to use a pasta for this that the dressing will cling to.  Choosing low fat ingredients for the dressing, low fat cheddar and whole wheat pasta also makes it very healthy. 

For the dressing:
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 of fine sea salt
225g of good quality mayonnaise (1 cup)
125g  of sour cream (1/2 cup)
2 heaped TBS of finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 TBS finely minced fresh dill weed
1 TBS finely minced fresh chives
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
dash tabasco sauce
buttermilk as needed (60 to 120 ml) (1/4 to 1/2 cup) 

For the Salad
2 medium heads of broccoli, trimmed, blanched and chopped
10 rashers of streaky bacon, drained and chopped
About 12 baby plum tomatoes, halved and drained
1 mug of frozen peas, cooked and drained
1/2 pound of pasta shapes, cooked, rinsed and drained
120g of strong cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
(I used low fat, half orange and half white, grated the white and chopped the orange) 

Make the dressing first.  Mash the garlic with the salt until it makes a paste.  Whisk it together wth all of the remaining ingredients, adding only enough buttermilk to give you a thick, but pourable dressing.  Set aside for the flavours to meld while you get the remaining ingredients sorted.

Mix the chopped broccoli, tomatoes, peas, pasta and cheese together in a bowl along with enough dressing to moisten and coat them well.   Stir in the bacon.  You may or may not need all the dressing.  It all depends on taste.  Some people like more.   Do note that as the salad sits it will absorbe some of the dressing, so I always like to hold some back to stir in just prior to serving.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary with salt and black pepper if desired.

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Note - Using low fat ingredients for the mayo, cheese, sour cream etc. made it fairly healthy also.

Bon Appetit!


  1. What a salad! This looks like summertime to me! I can't wait to make it for one of the first BBQ meals ... reminder to self - get the BBQ out of the potting shed and clean it off! Thanks for the summertime inspiration!

    1. You're welcome Susan! We will be shopping for a new BBQ this year as our old one has bit the dust! Enjoy! xo

  2. It looks fantastic..and the dressing sounds winner too.

    1. Thanks Monique! That dressing is good on all sorts! xo


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