Broccoli Pasta Salad

10 Jul

I have a thing for books.  A weird sort of relationship that I’m not sure anyone else has with books.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s a love-hate relationship, but something along those lines.

I absolutely despise being told to read anything.  If I have a textbook, or any other book that I’m required to read for school I will usually, on principle, detest that book simply because you’re making me read it.

But I love books.  I love to read for fun.  If I like a book, usually you won’t see my face until I finish reading it – that’s how absorbed I get when I read.

But there’s another dimension to my relationship with books.  As much as I love books, I don’t like libraries, or Kindles.  I like to own the books I read – to be able to touch the cover, smell the pages, and break in the binding all on my own.  I also like to be able to write in my books and fold down the pages.  I’m not one of those nutters that thinks you shoud never write in books, and that dog-earing kills the book’s soul.  (If you’re one of those wack jobs, please excuse me if I’ve offended you).

I just recently finished rereading the Harry Potter series for the 14th or 15th time, in preparation for the last movie that’s coming out in five days.  (I’m a nerd – don’t judge).

Anyway, I took my nose out of the seventh book long enough to make this pasta salad, and then shoved it back in once I started eating.  This salad is wonderful and a lot simpler than it lets on.  Just try it – and eat it warm, as it tastes much better fresh.  Then get reading, and love on your books.

PASTA SALAD WITH BROCCOLI AND PEANUTS (from Food Day – if you’re cool enough to live in Oregon, you’ll know that that’s a section in our paper)

  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta
  • 2 heads (or more, if you want) broccoli (2 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 c. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Cook your pasta until al dente and then drain and rinse under cold water.  Set aside.
Okay, here the recipe leads you into this whole ordeal where basically all you’re doing is steaming the broccoli.   So here’s the easy way:  chop up your broccoli and steam it however you steam things until it’s tender.  Then, in a separate bowl, combine the 2 tbsp. oil, vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes with a whisk.  Add the pasta, broccoli, peanuts, and onions, and toss to combine.  Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled (except you should really serve it right away, as far as I’m concerned).
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