All four of our children enjoy helping to prepare dinner. In fact, we often need to divide kitchen assistance so that everyone gets a chance to cut, stir, etc. After a recent Sunday dinner, in which two of the children helped make dinner, each of them wanted to cook dinner on his or her own.
So, each of them began to envision what dinner he or she would create. Sammie decided that she would make a pasta dish that could be served cold, as it was a warm end of summer day. Rather than making a salad with all of the ingredient assembled, she made a choose-your-ingredients pasta salad. This was a great idea, allowing each of us to choose from an assortment of vegies. It also allowed each diner to choose the amount of vinaigrette to be placed on the salad.
Rather than using a store-bought vinaigrette for the salad, Sammie and I created our own balsamic vinaigrette. We wanted something that would have a bit of sweetness but that also would have some tanginess. Additionally, I prefer salad dressings that are lighter, so we used less olive oil than most recipes suggest.
With a little help from Mom, Sammie made a great meal for a warm summer night. The combination of farfalle, red and orange bell peppers, broccoli, and olives gave the salad a lot of color, and the homemade vinaigrette added depth to the flavors.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dried mustard
- 1 Tb. honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a cruet, cover, and shake well.
- Chill until ready to use.