Thursday, March 10, 2011

Avacado Pasta & Calico Salad

'Tis the season of meatless Fridays (if you're Catholic or other-wise fasting during Lent).  Here are two "vegetarian" dishes to get you started.

  • 1 ripened Avacado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 8 ounce pasta of your choice
  • fresh ground black pepper
Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Rinse and drain.  Meanwhile, saute onions and shallots in olive oil until lightly caramelized.  Remove from heat. Slice the avacado, remove the pit and scoop into a bowl.  Immediately add lemon juice.  (Doing so quickly helps prevent the avacado from turning dark).  Add basil and fresh black pepper to taste.  Mash and mix with a fork.  (A food processor or blender may also be used). 

Add drained pasta to onion and shallot mixture.  Add the avacado mixture to the noodles and mix well.  Serve hot (although it's  pretty tasty at room temperature too). 

I saw a version of this recipe on the California Callahans blog.   Her name is Leah too, so I had to give it a shot, right?  I slightly tweaked it a bit by changing the garlic to shallots.  I also deleted the salt, added the red onion and substituted dried basil since that's what I had around.  It was an extra yummy change of pace thanks to the inspirational recipe!

It's still cold here, but I'm dreaming of sunnier days already.  Last week, I pulled out a trusted "tried and true" summer-time salad in the hopes that the weather would warm up a bit.  It didn't work.  It's still cold....and currently a bit rainy.  But! We enjoyed eating it anyway. 

I got this recipe for Calico Salad from my cousin.  She is actually my mom's cousin, but we count cousins pretty far back in the south.  This salad was served at a family birthday party we were attending at the lake, and it reminded me of the marinated cukes at Jestine's in Charleston SC.  I HAD to have the recipe.  She handed it right over, along with the entire "More Cooking with Harmony, Harmony United Methodist Church Cookbook" from Johnston, SC.  She even signed it, "My love to my little cousin from the best cooks in SC - Susie". 

No one has ever accused a southerner of not having a healthy dose of self-esteem, but she's not boasting one bit!  This sucker is like GOLD in my many yum yum yummies in this cookbook.  Lucky for you, I'm sharing too!  Even though you've probably never heard of a little town in SC called Harmony, you can start planning your summer garden to include lots of cucumbers and tomatoes...and you'll know just what to do with them!

  • 3 cucumbers, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced, then chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
Place the chopped vegetables in a large bowl.  Add the white vinegar and water to the sugar, whisking well.  Pour the liquid and sugar mixture over the vegetables.  Mix well.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours. 


  1. Your version sounds DELICIOUS! I'm totally trying it AND the Calico salad. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with me!! I'm following :)

  2. love these recipes - will be trying them this spring/summer


  3. YUM! I'm very intrigued by the avocado pasta.