Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tomato Spinach Penne Salad

I bought a local spinach the other day planning to make a side dish out of it.  But since it will not compliment what I cooked for dinner that time, I left it in the fridge. 

The next day, afraid that the spinach will wilt and go straight to the trash bin, I found myself talking to the spinach and asking, "What can I do with you?"

I scanned my cupboard, fridge and kitchen and decided to create a salad out of it.  With just the picture of what it may look like, I begun my kitchen challenge.

Tomato Spinach Penne Salad
2 cups penne pasta 
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, cut into strips
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup ripe tomato, seeded and diced
3 slices of ham, diced
1 small Chinese chorizo, diced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp iodized salt
In a skillet, brown ham and chorizo until crispy.  Set aside including the oil.

In a casserole, bring to boil enough water to cook pasta. Once the water is boiling, put about a 2 to 3 Tbsp rock salt.  Put the pasta in and boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.

Turn off heat and add in spinach strips.  Stir while counting from 1-25.  The heat from the water is enough to cook the spinach without taking away the crispiness. Drain and place in a separate bowl ready for tossing.

Combine the rest of the ingredients (with the pasta) including the cooked ham and chorizo.  Toss and serve.  You may opt to put additional Parmesan cheese if you want (Bokk did).

I'm glad with the results.  It's fresh, creamy (because of the cheese) and very light. The crsipy ham and chorizo brings in the salty component on the dish which marries with the sweetness of the tomato and the tangy taste from  the spinach. Perfect for light dinner or snack! Yum! 

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