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Don’t give up on pasta salad. February 11, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. I can’t bear the thought of cold pasta, or of pasta salad, so often loaded with congealed mayonnaise and other fat-filled, nutrient-free gunk, apparently approved for pigging out on because of the word “salad” in its name. Just seeing it on a salad bar makes my stomach turn.

But I love hot pasta. I could probably eat it every night, if I didn’t love so many other foods, too. And, perhaps inevitably, one night, my love of hot pasta and pasta salad converged. It happened this way:

Our friend Ben and I got a late start on our grocery shopping (and every other sort of rushing-around errand). We’d been on our feet, rushing up and down various aisles for hours, by the time we hit the grocery around 8 p.m. And of course I still had to make supper for us when we got home, circa 9 p.m. Much as I love to cook, I really wasn’t up for it, or for standing on my feet a second longer than necessary.

So once we hit the produce section, I turned to the deli counter and the prepared foods. And behold, there was “Greek pasta salad,” with basil, thyme, oregano, onion, feta cheese, diced tomatoes, and olive oil (not a blob of mayo in sight). As a cold dish, it still struck me as gross. As a hot supper, it sounded delicious. So I bought a container, took it home, heated it up, made a big, crunchy salad, and fed it all to OFB after our usual post-shopping division of labor. (He hauls all the bags inside and takes our beloved black German shepherd, Shiloh, outside for a bathroom break, while I put all the stuff away and make him a post-shopping cocktail and pour myself a much-needed glass of wine before starting on making supper.)

Sure enough, once it was heated, the former pasta salad made a fine pasta dish. I have borne this lesson in mind since then. When I’ve been working late and don’t have time for from-scratch cooking, or OFB and I are out shopping late but don’t want to spend even more time or money eating out, or some other reason keeps me from the kitchen, I know I can turn to the deli counter and see if there’s a cold pasta salad that would taste good hot. See for yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised! But please, keep away from those mayo-laden atrocities; don’t try to heat them up, and don’t eat them cold, either. Eeeeewwww!!!

‘Til next time,