Farmers' Market Springtime Pasta Salad
Most of my recipes use ingredients that are readily available or easily substitutable.
But not this one. The magic of this dish depends on having Holler Pepper Company's Lemon-Dill
Pickled Garlic on hand. You could try using other versions of pickled garlic, but I
couldn't vouch for the results. Holler's version is lightly pickled with a hint of lemon
and dill. Fortunately, it's available by mail order for those who
can't make it to San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market to buy it directly from
Roscoe Zuckerman, the producer.
Building on the spring farmers' market celebration theme, we also used Holler's asparagus, Happy Boys baby red and green romaine
leaves, Gingrass chicken
sausages, and strawberry vinegar made with Harry's berries.
This is a light yet lively dish and it's a very pretty presentation. The red and green
romaine leaves around the edge of the bowl mirror flecks of red tomatoes and green
asparagus in the pasta salad. It's a celebration of the magic of springtime at San
Francisco's Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market!
Several hours before:
- Pasta: Cook any variety of pasta
and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Tomatoes: Cut 8 small roma tomatoes in half
length-wise. Place them on a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a
450° oven for about 15 minutes, or until the skins begin to separate from the flesh. Turn
the oven to "Broil" and let the skins blacken a little so they will completely
separate from the flesh and will be easy to remove. Remove the skins and put the tomato
halves on a flat shallow ceramic plate. Sprinkle with a 3-4 TBS of home-made strawberry
vinegar and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Steam or roast a small bunch of fresh asparagus and let them cool. Cut into 1"
lengths and add to the pasta.
Just before serving:
- Put the pasta in a very large mixing bowl and proceed to make the sauce.
- In a mini-chopper, chop 8-10 cloves of Holler's Lemon-Dill Pickled Garlic with 2-3 TBS
olive oil. Mix this paste into the pasta.
- Chop several sprigs of fresh dill and equal amount of fresh mint. (The quantity of each
depends on the amount of pasta and your taste.) Add it to the pasta.
- Cut the cooled tomatoes into chunks. Add them to the pasta along with the strawberry
vinegar that they were curing in and any tomato juices that have accumulated.
- Salt and pepper the pasta mixture to taste and let it rest for 15-20 minutes so the
flavors can "marry".
- While the pasta is resting, sauté 2 sausages and let them cool enough to slice into
thin slices. Set them aside (do not add to the pasta yet).
Arranging the serving plate:
- Pile a mound of pasta salad in the middle.
- Around the edge of the pasta mound, arrange the thinly sliced sausages.
- Serve immediately. (Using chopsticks to eat composed salads such as this brings out even
more of the delicate flavors of the individual ingredients and of the dish as a whole!)
Holler Pepper Company
P.O. Box 487
Stockton, CA 95201
(209) 469-7972 (fax)
- Pasta: I like to use rotelle because the spirals
catch the sauce.
- Romaine: Use only very small, baby leaves. Your
leaves should be small enough so that you'll use 10-12 leaves to decorate the edge of a
standard bouillabaisse bowl. Any combination of red and green lettuce leaves would be
fine, but they must be very small and tender.