Jul 19, 2010

Summer pasta salad

Oh Summer! It’s definitely here, and here to stay for at least four more months... The Israeli summer is soooo long, it makes you forget that you ever felt a cool breeze in your hair... Existing in a hot and humid weather is no easy task for anyone. Even summer’s biggest fans who greet it with real joy and happiness are now melting slowly in the city, trying to find strips of shadow to walk under in the hot streets. You have to walk the city of Tel Aviv to enjoy it, but summer makes you remember, that yes, you have a car, and you’re going to use it, even for taking your 3 years old from the preschool around the block.

I am a winter person, and as such, I never greeted summer with much delight. My main task is to hide wherever AC is available during the day, and go out at night (like nocturnal animals do...). Ignoring reality and the season is the best survival tip I could find till now, and let me say that the “if you can’t beat them - join them!” rule really does not apply here. Unless you’re willing and able to spend your days at the beach drinking margaritas (mostly life does not work this way...), than keep behind closed doors dreaming of fall, and rear your head just when absolutely necessary.

But... Oh, the summer food! I really love anything regarding summer food and desserts, the best fruit and vegetables, great colors and textures. Summer hold the joy of finding the freshest ingredients and making light and healthy meals. The season where starters play the role of main dishes is my kind of season!

So far I’ve only posted sweet recipes, since it is my specialty. But I really want this blog to be about more than baking, so this is my first savory dish for you. Last Saturday we had a great summer pasta salad for dinner, the one I usually make for picnics. Cold wheels shaped pasta with oven plum cherry tomatoes, lightly cooked romano green beans, sheep’s milk feta cheese, roasted garlic and dill. So fresh and summery, great for lunch or dinner in a cool atmosphere, or packed for a picnic, for those days it’s OK to drink margaritas at the beach... Enjoy!

Summer Pasta Salad

make about 40 (3 cm in diameter) laddus

350 gr. plum cherry tomatoes
1 head of garlic cloves, separated
10 branches of thyme
3 tbs. good olive oil
250 gr. short shaped pasta
300 gr. romano green beans (also called italian flat greens/turkish green beans)
200 gr. sheep’s milk feta cheese
3 tbs. chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 175℃.

Cut the cherry tomatoes lengthwise in half. Arrange with garlic cloves and thyme branches on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet, pour over 1 tbs. olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Bake for 30-40 min. Take out of the oven, discard thyme branches, transfer cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves to a plate, and keep in the fridge till use.

Cook the pasta in boiling salty water according to manufactures instructions. Drain, wash in cold water, and keep in the fridge until use.

Cook the romano green beans in boiling salty water for 3-4 min. Drain and put in a bowl of ice water, or put in the freeze for 10 min. Cut diagonally to 1 cm. wide pieces.

Combine the salad in a large bowl: Take the roasted garlic out of their skins, and mix with the roasted tomatoes, romano beans and pasta. Add the chopped dill, and crumble the feta cheese inside. Add 2 tbs. olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper. chill for at least half an hour, and serve. the salad will be good kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.


  1. Sigal wrote me about your blog. You are doing a great job and I was thinking " why don't you write a guest post for me?"
    Maybe you can cook a dish for my blog and talk about it and about you and about your new amazing blog on a guest post...
    Just think about it!

  2. Hey Gaia!
    I've just read your comment, and was first acquainted with your blog. It's beautiful!!. I would love to do a guest post on your blog. We can do it with my next post, or if you had some special idea you've wished, just tell me.
    thank you so much :)

  3. Hi Yael
    We just found your blog today and love it.

    The Royal Kitchen
    Rena (& Tom)

  4. thanks Rena and Tom, I'm a big fan of your blog too...:)