I love cold ham in salads of any type.
Well, I just love cold ham.
Feel free to substitute smoked turkey
Beans with basil is classic combination.
Add in tomatoes and we have a great summer salad.
It’s finished with a naturally lower fat / lower calorie dressing of half mayonnaise and half Greek Yogurt. I’ve learned that mixing yogurt and mayo keeps the flavor of the mayo without all the calories. I don’t use low or nonfat products, but I’m happy to reduce fat and calories naturally.
Ham, Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad
Total time: 25 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups (4.2oz, 125gr) pasta, bite-size – fusilli, rigatoni, penne
- 1 tbs olive oil, for salads
- 10oz (300gr) deli-style (baked) ham, cubed
- 6oz (180gr) green beans, cut into 1″ (2.5cm) lengths
- 3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup (2oz, 60gr) plain or Greek yogurt
- 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 2 tbs fresh chives, snipped
- 2 tbs fresh basil, snipped
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse in cold water and toss with olive oil.
- Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add beans and blanch for 3 minutes.
- While the beans cook fill a large bowl or pan 3/4 full of cold water.
- When the beans are done, drain and dump into the cold water. Swirl around until cool then drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and lemon juice.
- Put pasta, ham, beans, herbs and tomatoes in large salad bowl.
- Add mayonnaise dressing and toss lightly to combine. Serve.
I’ve been doing some experimenting this year.
I hadn’t planned on it, but it happened.
Well I planned on part of it.
When I planted our first vegetable garden in Andorra my gardening techniques were frequently corrected by the local farmers. One of the things I was taught was to pinch out all of the new shoots on tomato plants.
I carefully did that every year. Of course, some always escaped my notice, but I tried.
This year, when I was researching diseases and planting times I came across a gardener that said not to do that. Basically, the idea was to let them grow and produce as much as they can.
I wasn’t sure I agreed with that sentiment but I liked the idea of more tomatoes. (One can never have too many tomatoes…. really)
So, for all the ‘indeterminate’ tomatoes (all except the Romas) I pruned a little, but less vigorously then usual.
As to the Romas…..
I tried something totally different,
We live in a big tomato-growing area. During our weekly walks I noticed that the Romas were just left to grow and produce however they wanted to. No staking, no tying, no pruning…. no keeping the tomatoes and leaves off the ground…. Just rampant growth and lots of tomatoes.
So that’s what I did.
These are two of my three Romas
They are absolutely loaded with tomatoes and I’ve already picked about 10 lbs (5 kilos).
Below is my experiment.
Romas are always sold in packs of 6.
I planted the three in my potager, put in the stakes and decided to sort of keep them under control – but no pruning.
I had three plants left.
I couldn’t bring myself to toss them on the compost. They just sat around in their little pots for about three weeks ‘in case I needed them’. I watered them, but that was it.
They started to look pretty pathetic so I decided to toss them. Then I thought I’d just stick them in the ground by the fence and see what happened.
Look at the difference between the two lots – all the same age.
Guess that’s what being root-bound can do…..
And I might get enough tomatoes for a cup of soup!