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Party Food – Bruschetta and Herbed Pasta Salad

002 (3)This post will wrap up the party food and I’ll be back to our regularly featured programming.  I have an exciting plan to recreate an appetizer I had at The Porch Restaurant [1] tomorrow, so tune back in for that.

The end of the party preparation had me totally feeling like the Iron Chef.  There was a point when I was actually running from the kitchen to the grill and back again.  The clock was winding down, the chicken was on the grill, the crostini were in the oven, I was whipping cream for my sauces and had pasta on the stove.  I was flying.  It was really fun.  Intense, but I loved it.  Kind of like that two hour power yoga class I took yesterday in an 85 degree room, standing next to the world’s toughest lady, over 40 weeks pregnant Darcie!  Intense, but I loved it.

This Bruschetta [2] recipe came from one of those grocery store checkout aisle recipe pamphlet things.  The ones that are sort of like a magazine, but with no articles and the pamphlet covers some bizarre theme, like Church Potluck meals or the entirely crock-pot pamphlet or such.  Well this one’s theme was all recipes involving 7 ingredients or less, but every recipe involved Dijon mustard.  I’ve long since lost the pamphlet, but I found the exact recipe on the Kraft [2] website, (Kraft owns Grey Poupon).  I’ve taken this to several parties and people always ask me for the recipe.  It’s extremely solid and very easy.  I brush my cut up baguette slices with olive oil, then toast them in a 425 degree oven.  I made double this recipe for the party and used two whole baguettes and everything was gone.  Click through to the Kraft recipe [2] here, it’s delicious fresh tomatoes, green onions, olives and classic vinaigrette.

The herbed pasta salad is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, I swapped the ratios on the herbs and changed a few things.  Below is the recipe as I made it.  The garlic infused olive oil was very nice and this would be a great process for making chili oil as well.  This salad can be made the day before.

Herbed Pasta Salad

1000 g. (2.2 lbs) Casarecci pasta

2/3 c. olive oil

9 large cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 c. chopped basil

1 bunch parley, finely chopped

Murray River Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp of salt, and pasta.  Cook 9 minutes or until al dente.  Drain.

In a small saucepan, cook olive oil and garlic over medium heat to sizzling then cook a minute to two more.  Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Pour oil through a strainer onto pasta to remove garlic pieces.  Add chopped herbs, stir then season to taste.