Herbed Citrus Vinaigrette + Seasonal Pasta Salad

Herbs are in season - ever farmer has a lovely collection of basil, dill, cilantro, mint, parsley and more. Just the flavor of these herbs suggests the freshness of summer. And, oh the possibilities. Here's a great recipe when you find yourself fully armed with bunches of herbs - Herbed Citrus Vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup citrus juice (I used what I had on hand, a mix of lemon and lime)
  • 2 Tbsp honey, local of course
  • 1 - 2 tsp mustard, Dijon or whole grain
  • a cup of herb leaves, a big handful (i used a mix of basil, cilantro and mint)
  • salt and pepper to taste

lace all of the ingredients EXCEPT the OLIVE OIL in a blender. Give it a whirl to chop up the herbs. Then, with the motor running, pour in the olive oil in a thin stream. The results, a beautiful green dressing to use on veggie salads, pasta salads, and yes, fruit salads.

In my market bag last week I brought home beautiful pasta from Aunt Mamies, Cavatelli, perfect for pasta salad, plus 2 bunches of arugula and shelled peas from Old Homestead Farm. I cooked the pasta according to the package directions, perfect. Steamed the peas just to take away the crunch - don't go mushy on me here - and cooled them down in an ice bath! And then washed up the arugula. For the salad, I simply tossed the cooled pasta with the cooled peas and freshly bathed arugula, dressed it with some of my Herbed Citrus Vinaigrette and presto, the perfect side dish. Top with a great local cheese - sure go ahead! Maybe slosh on a perfectly poached egg, oh how delish that would be. Other veggies, other grains, oh the others, oh the possibilities!

For dinner that night - the pasta salad paired with a grilled lamb chop from Lindenhof Farm and a first of the season tomato salad tossed with Stoudt's Blue Cheese.