Strawberry festivals, children playing soccer in the streets and afternoon thunderstorms - it's finally summer in Ontario!
Over the past couple of weeks, I've developed my own little summertime routine: waking up for work before sunrise, coming home to dinner on the grill, consuming gallons of passion fruit iced tea and binge-watching Orange Is the New Black before bed.
Because Mississauga typically gets only six months of snow-free weather, I'm doing everything I can to make the most of the warm weather. I attended a Yankees game in downtown Toronto last week (we won!) and plan on doing some antiquing this Sunday.
For his part, Hubby has become resident grill master and lawn cutter extraordinaire.
To fully take advantage of summer, I've been trying to cook with seasonal fruits & veggies while they're affordable (the latter is so rare in Ontario since a lot of produce is imported at incredible expense) - particularly avocados since a tiny Hass costs no less than $2.50 during the colder months! Last week I purchased a bag of 5 for only $4.99, which is still pricey by Florida standards - where my grandmother has her own avocado tree in the backyard - but is practically a steal here in Ontario.
I made this pasta salad to accompany some turkey burgers that Hubby grilled for us last week. I pureed some avocado for the dressing, tossed some more in with the pasta and sliced another one to garnish the burgers with. Okay, maybe I went Hass crazy but at $1 a pop, I was stoked!
And it all tasted amazing. Seriously, like summer in a bowl.
Avocado-Ranch Pasta Salad
This dish takes advantage of so many summertime gems - tomatoes,
avocados and fresh basil. Serve alongside burgers, ribs or steak.
for the pasta:
8 oz shell pasta
3 strips thick cut bacon
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Hass avocado
handful of fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper to taste
for the dressing:
1/2 cup ranch dressing (preferably chilled)
1/2 Hass avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Once cooked, drain and run cold water over the pasta until completely cooled. Set aside in a large bowl.
Cook the bacon, then pat dry on a paper towel. (Keep the bacon grease in the pan!) Chop into small pieces and add to the pasta.
Saute the halved tomatoes in the bacon grease until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add to the pasta, keeping as much of the grease out as possible.
To prepare the dressing, place the ranch, avocado, lime juice and cilantro in a blender and process until smooth. Pour over the pasta and toss to coat.
Slice the basil into long ribbons and gently fold into the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Welcome! I'm a pie-baking, dog-loving, antique-hunting patriot. I'm a fan of rustic home cooking, the Yankees and scenic drives through the mountains.