Pat's dad is one of those people with a truly remarkable skill to just "whip things up." At dinner time, the whole family hangs out in the kitchen chatting, while he chops, sautés, and generally does cooking things you're not really aware of until...VOILA dinner is ready. He's never hurried, never stressed, and never checking things excessively. Based on his attitude, you'd think he's making butter noodles or something equally mindless but oooooh no no no. Everything he makes....is....AWESOME. He swears it's nothing impressive because it's so simple, but the thing is, it's impressive precisely because it's simple.
Last time we visited, he made this pasta salad and I fell completely in love with it. The light lemon vinaigrette really allows the other ingredients to speak for themselves, while giving the salad a brightness that is perfect for hot summer evenings. I only hope I can look as nonchalant tossing it together!
Summer Pasta Salad
As with most salads, the amount of ingredients listed are more guidelines than concrete quantities, so feel free to play around to suit your tastes!
1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 bag arugula
1 lb rotini
2 oranges (sectioned)
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
3/4 C green olives
1/4 C olive oil
Juice from 2 lemons
2 tsp dijon mustard
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tsp honey
1) Cook pasta per package instructions
2) Section the oranges, and combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. If you're unsure how to section an orange, the easiest way to learn is probably by watching this video
3) Make dressing by whisking all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Pour dressing over salad, and toss until all ingredients are thoroughly coated