During family vacations at the beach, we usually made a trip to a deli in Montecito to pick up a variety of cold salads for one dinner. We each got to pick out a dish from the pristine glass display. It was so elegant!
Ever since, summer salads have been a special fixation. I made two great new recipes for dinner salads earlier this week. The first is a version of a salad from Tutti's in Montecito that I've been trying to perfect for years:
Tutti's Black Olive Noodle Salad
3/4 package of Trader Joe's Garlic Basil Linguine or another pasta with a good flavor
5 or so ounces black olives
Clove of garlic
Drizzle of hot chili oil
Pinch of red chili flakes
Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a food processor, mix together the olives, garlic, olive oil and spices into a pesto consistency. It should have a subtle, spicy flavor. Might be good to experiment with adding a small amount of sesame oil or anchovies to the mix. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water until chilled. Toss the pasta with the olive pesto and additional olive oil as needed. Refridgerate and serve when ready. Keeps for several days.
Beet & Watermelon Salad
1 package Trader Joe's pre-cooked beets or 3 small fresh beets
2 cups cubed watermelon
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
Tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together the beets, watermelon, vinegar and mint together. Refridgerate until ready to serve. Add the feta cheese at the last minute.
I made a classic potato salad and a thai chicken salad to go along with these two for the light dinner. A few leaves of romain, some white wine and slices of watermelon - you're set!