I have borrowed this book from our local library so many times my kids have started asking questions.  I really need to make it a permanent part of my cookbook library.

From Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ s Appetite for Reduction a vegan pasta salad that will please everyone. The fennel seed in the dressing gives the dish a surprise kick.  Don’t leave it out. Without eggs or mayo in the  dressing you don’t have to worry about it spoiling, so this is a perfect take with you in a cooler food.

Sun-dried Tomato-Walnut dressing

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed dried, not packed in oil)
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (do not skip this ingredient!)
  • 2 Tbps shallots, diced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram or oregano

Hydrant the tomatoes by placing them in hot boiling water for 10 mins.  Drain. Meanwhile, toast nuts and fennel seeds in a medium-high hot skillet until fragrant and lightly browned.  Transfer to a food processor and chop finely. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Will keep in the fridge for upto  5 days.

Pasta Salad

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz shell shaped pasta, cooked according to pkg directions, and cooled
  • 1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives,
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 recipe sun-dried Tomato Walnut dressing, above
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces

Slice onions and place in a small bowl. Just cover with water and add 1 tbsp cider vinegar or white-wine vinegar.  Soak from approx 10 mins, while you get the rest of the ingredients together, drain and add to your salad. I fins this step takes some of the bite out of the onions, so they are sweet and mellow, and allowing the addition of far more to a salad than otherwise. If you find raw onions a bit strong, try soaking them first.

Toss all ingredients together, including the dressing and arugula.  The arugula is sturdy enough to withstand the dressing for a while without getting soggy.  This salad will keep refrigerated for several hours before serving.  I made this in the morning and kept it in a cooler until dinner time.