Cobb Pasta Salad; Clandestine garden goings-on

I’m not sure what’s going on in my garden at night.

I have radishes turning into big, hulking bullies.

That could be the result of lack of discipline on my part as chief (and only) gardener.

I accept the blame.



What’s wrong with this picture?


I planted 2 types of courgette: the green, striped, traditional one (known as zucchini across the pond) and the pretty yellow one (known as yellow squash across the pond).

Well, the green courgette is rather aggressive, and, dare I say it… apparently had it’s way with the pretty little yellow one.

Now all of my yellow courgettes are coming out bi-colored.

Last year, if you recall I had the same problem with the green squash attacking the butternut.


No harm was done – except on the surface.


But it’s the surface that we all pay attention to, isn’t it?

Is this the vegetable world telling us that beauty really is only skin deep?

I have to admit I’m a little concerned about my cucumbers….

And God only knows what the dill is doing with the sweet corn.

Could I be growing herbed corn?

Could this be the reason that professional gardeners don’t do companion planting?

(My garden is very compact, making the most efficient use of space and keeping my time tending down just a wee bit.  But it could be encouraging all this clandestine behavior.)

There is nothing clandestine about Presto Pasta Nights.
Presto pasta nights

The event was started more than 3 years ago by  Ruth of Once
Upon A Feast

Every Friday it brings you a wonderful collection of pasta dishes from around the world.

This week it’s hosted by Janet of The Taste Space.

She’ll have the recap on
her blog on Friday.

It’s hot; it’s summer; we need salads.

This is not a traditional pasta salad.

With lots of vegetables and big
chunks of ham, cheese and egg, no one will mistake this for a small side

I didn’t thoroughly cool the beans. As I wanted them to retain a
bit of warmth I just rinsed lightly.

Cobb Pasta Salad

Cobb Pasta Salad

8oz (250gr) ham or smoked turkey, thick slice get it at the deli counter
4oz (125gr) green beans I used flat Italian or runner beans
2oz (60gr) firm cheese, Cheddar, Colby
2 eggs, hard-boiled
1 avocado
1/2 red or orange bell pepper
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
10 – 12 basil leaves
1 1/4 cup pasta, bite-size, fusilli, elbow, (about 3.5oz, 100gr)
White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain.
Boil eggs.
Top and tail beans…cut off the ends. Cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths (4cm) Bring a medium saucepan half full of water to a boil over high heat. Add beans and blanch for 4 minutes. Remove, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Slice pepper, about 1/4″ thick (.5cm) then cut slices in half. Slice ham or turkey and cheese into large, bite-size chunks. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Cut avocado into large chunks. When eggs are done, cool, peel and cut into chunks. Tear large basil leaves in half. Make vinaigrette.
To assemble: Put drained pasta in a large bowl and add vinaigrette. Toss well to combine. Add ham, peppers, tomato and beans, toss well. Add cheese, egg, basil and avocado. Stir gently, just to combine. Serve.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
4 tbs olive oil – the good stuff

Whisk vinegar,and mustard. Slowly whisk in oil and whisk until it emulsifies.

Do you think I’m getting orange tomatoes because I planted the red ones too close to the yellow ones?

But where are the white ones coming from?

I think I know where Mary Shelley got her ideas…. She was a gardener, wasn’t she?

13 thoughts on “Cobb Pasta Salad; Clandestine garden goings-on”

  1. I love the look of the bi-coloured courgette. If I thought it were possible to reproduce that here in my garden attended by black-thumbed me, I’d give it a shot. But discretion being the better part of valour, I will just stand aside to admire. (It pains me to say that I’ve somehow managed to murder the mint again this summer. I don’t know WHAT I’m doing wrong. Nobody can kill mint!!)

  2. The salad looks absolutely fantastic, especially since the heat wave (much to the weatherpeople say the opposite) is still here with a vengence. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.
    As for your lusty plants knowing no prejudices, perhaps you could patent (or whatever the gardening version is) the seeds and we’ll call the two toned zucchini – Katini!

  3. Hi! Its a very refreshing recipe for this warm summer in Spain! Thank you for sharing!!
    I planted this year for the first time yellow zucchini and I also have green ones! This weekend I will check if it is happening the same clandestine phenomenon in my vegetable garden 🙂

  4. Pam, I rather like them, myself – sort of flamboyant, devil-may-care courgette.
    Janet, you’re welcome ;-))
    Zoomie, certainly more interesting.
    Ina, love pasta salads of all types!
    Tanna, mutts rule!
    Christine, I’m going to sneek out there some night
    Elizabeth, you shouldn’t refer to yourself as nobody…. really….. And how on earth can you kill mint? I’ve even tried Round-up in a moment of desperation….. to no avail.
    Val, they’re all coming out bi-colored now. They purity is ruined!
    Ruth, the seeds would be far too prone to misbehave, I’m afraid
    La Cocina, it’s the green one that causes all the problems ;-))

  5. Hmmm. Someone is DEFINITELY getting frisky in the garden.
    It’s kind of fun though! Almost like you’ve got your own Mendelian genetics experiment going on.

  6. Joanne, good thing this is France – there are no Morals Police. They would arrest me for any GM foods, though. Mother Nature can play – but don’t play with Mother Nature!

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