Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Chicken Pasta Salad

First, let me say sorry for the bad photos. My camera battery died (why can't I remember to keep it charged?) AGAIN so I had to use my crappy cell phone camera that has no flash. (Thanks, Samsung)

This is a dish that Chris learned from his Mom. She made it when he was growing up and he wanted me to try it.

Ok so we started with some really amazing Heirloom Tomatoes that we got at a local farm stand. Heirloom Tomatoes have a much better flavor than your boring old beefsteak tomato. We also got a few English cucumbers at the grocery store. We only ended up using the one large tomato because that was enough for the dish.

Next we pan seared some chicken breast in olive oil to get a nice crust on it. We only seasoned with kosher salt and some black pepper.

I made a vinaigrette with two cloves of garlic, pressed, half of a lemon's worth of juice, kosher salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme. Just whisk it in a bowl. I used a little more vinegar than olive oil and about double the amount of olive oil than lemon juice. (Algebra, anyone?)

So everything gets cut into bite sized pieces and then everyone goes into a big bowl with one can of black olives (drained) and one pound of rotini pasta (cooked al dente, we use Dreamfield pasta). Only use enough of the vinaigrette to coat everything, you don't want a big pool of it at the bottom of the bowl.

You can eat this salad hot/warm like we did for dinner or put it in the fridge and eat it cold. I usually take the left overs for lunch the next day and I don't heat it up. It is really refreshing and has a nice bite from the balsamic and lemon. We also added a little grated Parmesan cheese, but I really didn't taste it at all and you can save the calories and just leave it out. We might try adding some feta next time, but probably to the plate and not to the big bowl because I don't think it will hold up well in the fridge.