Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Super quick salad for busy DIY evenings

I'm not a DYI person. I just decided that. The last three nights have been spent washing walls. Yes, me and a sponge and walls. Two bedrooms and a living room in three nights. I am counting my blessings that New Home didn't need any improvement at all. We just moved our stuff in and got on with business. But the bachelor pad is another story. Once we got most of the stuff out of there, it was clear it needed a bit of sprucing. Well, more like major sprucing. So we have spent every evening this week after work cleaning and preparing for painting. I know it's only going to be for a few days, probably this and next week. But it's a lot of work. When I get back home I pretty much fall into bed. But hopefully the apartment will be finished soon enough and normal life can resume.

As a result of spending all my nights in DIY hell, I have learned some surprising things. Such as the fact that you can actually freeze tomatoes whole. Our wonderful little greenhouse is pumping out tomatoes at light speed, and I had great plans of cooking my own tomato purée, crushed tomatoes and basil and tomato passata, but after getting home all dirty and sweaty after a night of DIY cooking is the last thing on my mind. So I perused the Interwebs and learned that in fact you can freeze tomatoes whole. Obviously you don't want to eat them raw afterwards but they still retain their lovely summery flavour when you use them for cooking. So I have harvested each day's crop of tomatoes and shoved them in the freezer. Along with some gooseberries I picked today as we got home a tad earlier than usual. Apparently they too can be frozen whole and then used for a crumble.  Perfect, as I love a good crumble.

Today's recipe is a result of what we happened to have hanging around. It doesn't look like much, but it turned out so incredibly good that I had to share it here. Sometimes the combination of pretty ordinary ingredients just work out perfectly. I didn't particularly measure any ingredients, just went with it, and you can adjust everything to taste.

Weekday dinner pasta salad (serves 4-5):
4 cups cooked pasta
2/3 cucumber
300 g cherry tomatoes
1 yellow sweet pepper
1/2 red sweet pepper
2/3 cups olives
2 tins of tuna (in oil of course...)
3-4 heaped teaspoons of chilli pesto (or more if you like a bit of kick in your salad)

The howto:
This isn't all too complicated. Chop up your cucumber and peppers, mix everything together. Dinner is served!

The verdict:
My photos just keep getting worse and worse. In my defence, I'm not entirely sure where my camera is right now, and I only snapped a pic of this salad after having a few mouthfuls (right out of the bowl I'm embarrassed to admit) and it was just too good to not include here. However, I was also ravenously hungry and there was no way I was going in search of my camera, not to mention trying to take a good picture. After all, it's pasta salad. How photogenic can that be? So the long and short of it is... it's quick and easy to make, you can whip it up in minutes (if you have pre-boiled pasta, if not, in a few minutes plus however long it takes to cook the pasta) and it's so delicious you will be looking forward to lunch the next day just so that you can have some more. I'm sure it's the fiery pesto that is the secret ingredient, it goes perfectly with the tuna. Go figure, but I swear it's the truth! 

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