Have I ever mentioned that we don’t have a dining room table in our house? Well, there’s your little bit of Swanson-trivia for the day. No dining room. No dining tables inside the house.
(We do have a large kitchen counter with seven stools, but that’s it for indoor seating.)
Fortunately, we have a plenty of places to eat under covered lanais on both the front and the back of the house, which we use year-round.
We most often have dinner on our front lanai, where we can look out at the sunset over the ocean. (And the skate bowl.)
But this time of year, when the sun sets bright and hot directly onto the front side of our house, we find ourselves on our back lanai for a lot of meals.
And I’ve been enjoying the change of scenery. And the cool shade.
(Then we take dessert out to the front lanai as the sun turns orange over the horizon. And the kids skate into the night. See, it all works out just fine. )
But of course I’m not here to talk about where we eat our meals or where the sun sets.
(sorry, that just kind of happened.)
I’m here to talk SALAD!
Specifically, another summer salad that ends up on our table quite often.
(Whichever side of the house we may be sitting at.)
I want to share this salad because it’s one of my favorite ways to get extra mileage out of leftovers, and in case you don’t already make it, I figure you probably should start.
Here’s how this salad happens:
One night, I make a big pasta dinner with some kind of tortellini, or any small pasta. (Bowtie, or fun- shaped pasta work great, but I prefer tortellini filled with spinach and cheese.) I plan ahead and make extra pasta to save for this salad the next day.
If I have leftover grilled chicken in the fridge, I’m double happy, but this salad can be served with or without meat. (I’ve also been known to toss in some rotisserie chicken if I happen to have one on hand.)
The rest of the salad is literally a mix of any vegetable, cooked or raw, that I might have on hand. A typical mix will be a crunchy salad of kale, arugula, or other greens, with carrots, tomatoes, and often a cup or two of leftover cooked green beans, asparagus, or mixed veggies from the pasta served previously (like you see here.) Sometimes I cube up some sharp cheddar cheese, or sprinkle in some parmesan, and then I toss it with a vinaigrette.
The family loves it. I have packed up a huge container of this salad to bring to the beach for surf contests, and passed out paper plates and forks at lunch time. It is super refreshing, filling, and once again, the flavor just gets better as it sits for a few hours or a day.
Print out the recipe, then play with it to make it your own.
(As usual, I usually double this recipe for our family + guests/leftovers. The amounts listed are all approximate as this is a toss-as-you-like salad.)
- 2 cups cooked tortellini pasta, or other small, filled pasta
- 1 cup cooked chicken breast, cut up
- 2-3 cups greens of choice (kale, spinach, arugula, leafy greens.)
- ¼ cup cubed cheddar cheese, and/or shaved parmesan.
- ½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1-2 cups veggies of choice (cooked green beans or asparagus, chopped carrots, corn, etc.)
- ½ cup Italian Vinaigrette
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine cold, cooked pasta with greens.
- Add veggies, chicken, and cheese.
- Toss with vinaigrette,
- Serve on a shady lanai or porch with crusty bread and ice tea!
Stay cool and enjoy the last days of summer! XOXO
(Don’t forget the peach ice tea.)
PS Speaking of….A little tour of our house from a while back, here.
PPS Don’t forget to PIN and share to pass this along to your friends! 🙂