GINNA PARSONS: Spaghetti salad sings of summer



One morning last week, my co-worker Leslie Criss told me about an awesome summer salad she had made. The recipe came from a mutual friend of ours, John Bedford, who is a good cook in his own right.

Leslie said this is one of those salads that’s better the second day, but I couldn’t wait that long. So I went home at lunch and put all the vegetables together and refrigerated them. Then that night after work, maybe seven hours later, I cooked the pasta and put the salad together.

It’s hard to beat the combination of these fresh flavors of summer. A friend had given me the tomatoes, the onion came from the Civitans and the herbs are from my deck garden. Leslie used only green olives in hers, but I like black olives, too, so I added both.

Charlie and I ate this that night with a half-pound of steamed shrimp for some protein. The next day, we took leftover salad for lunch and it was even better.

Two days later, we roasted salmon and had the spaghetti salad as a side. On Sunday, we stood at the sink and shared the last of it, slurping down long strands of pasta.

If you don’t make any other seasonal salad this summer, make this one.

Spaghetti Salad

1 pound tomatoes, chopped

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

13 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

14 cup olive oil

14 cup red wine vinegar

Green olives with pimientos, chopped

Black olives, chopped (optional)

6 to 8 ounces spaghetti

Salt and pepper

Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, oil, vinegar and olives. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, remove from fridge and let come to room temperature. Boil the pasta. Combine tomato mixture and hot pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6 to 8.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Click video to hear audio