|Chopped Ham Salad with Rosemary and Blue Cheese|
Because I don't really follow recipes much. I do have formulas, however, that guide me as I prepare spur-of-the-moment meals. Almost any recipe you see here can be adjusted to your individual tastes.
I've said before that I like my table to be simple, with maybe three foods on it. At one time, this would have meant a vegetable salad, a starch and a protein. Nowadays it's more likely to be a savory protein dish, a vegetable side and a zesty fruit or vegetable salad.
I use the same basic formula for making cold pasta dishes or salads: Pasta + Protein + Vegetable(s) + Accent Food + Herb = One Dish Meal.
More often than not, the one-dish meal is topped with nuts, seeds or dried fruit. That was not the case today, but it could have been.
Today's salad is for days when you need to use up leftovers.
Chopped Ham Salad with Rosemary and Blue Cheese (makes two small servings)
for the salad:
- 1 cup uncooked pasta*
- 3/4 cup ham, cubed or shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced onions
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/3 cup black olives, sliced
- 1 tablespoon blue cheese, crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
for the dressing:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon gray poupon mustard
Prepare the pasta according to package direction. While pasta is boiling, chop or cube ham and set aside. Wash and chop broccoli. Slice black olives, or use pre-sliced olives from a can. Crumbled blue cheese into very small bits. Set these aside until pasta is cooked and cooled.
Use a mortar and pestle to prepare rosemary.
Allow cooked pasta to cool. Toss all other ingredients together with rosemary and add to pasta once it had cooled. Add salt and pepper.
Prepare dressing by thoroughly blending all ingredients with a whip or fork in small bowl. Add to the salad.
As is the case with most cold pasta dishes, allowing the flavors to blend for an hour or so (in the refrigerator) is advised.
Measurements are not carved in stone. Feel free to add more of this or less of thar ingredient. Walnuts, or sunflower seeds are great toppings for this salad.
* I use Dreamfields lower-GI pasta as much as possible.