Make It: Summer Wheel Salad (Rotelle with Onions, Cucumbers, and Herbs)

hJSbR4HItSypishoI3VfHckLO6ebOHx5 A huge part of being a creative cook isn’t necessarily coming up with your recipes out of thin air but taking one that you’ve found and making it your own with tweaks, new tastes, and additions.

I normally don’t invest in cooking and recipe magazines just because most of anything that you want to make can be found on the internet. Why waste the money on a magazine you’ll throw away when you could save that money for some high quality ingredients? Duh.

However, Martha, being the vixen that she is, seduced me into buying her June 2013 issue last week due to the promises of summer recipes and deserts; she didn’t disappoint. The issue has a bunch of easily punched out recipe-book-sized cards with fun, fresh pasta salad recipes on it for a new kick to some old favorites.

Summer Wheel Salad (Rotelle with Onions, Cucumbers, and Herbs)

  • 3 pounds Vidalia or other sweet onions, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper (I used Maui, but sweet red shallots can work too.)
  • 1 pound rotelle (wagon-wheel pasta)
  • 1/2 English cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, unpeeled, very thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups packed fresh herbs, such as mint, tarragon, basil, and parsley, leaves torn into pieces if large (I skipped the tarragon, and doubled the mint. It plays nicely with the onions.)
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar (I used Citrus Champagne Vinegar, it adds a nice twist.)

Note: When broiling your onions, mine finished in about half the time Martha suggested. Check them often to make sure they caramelize but don’t burn. You can check out her recipe here.

Preheat oven to broil, with rack about 8 inches below heating element. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil, and arrange onions on it in a single layer. Brush onions with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil onions until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Flip onions and broil until golden brown on other side, 5 to 7 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Transfer pasta to bowl with onions. Let cool 15 minutes. Gently stir in cucumber, herbs, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This tasty salad will last for up to a week, great for taking to work or a picnic. I served mine up with some lightly sautéed garlic butter shrimp for a light summery dinner.

Thanks and happy eats,

Lisa

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