St. Patrick’s Day is over and now I am already thinking about my Easter Menu. Every year on Easter we do an Easter Dunch. Not quite lunchtime not quite dinnertime. Easter is one of my favorite holidays because I love all the food and it’s the only time of the year we make a ham.
The menu always consists of ham, one or two “special cold salad”, deviled eggs, one “special” spring vegetable dish either cold or hot, some type of potatoes, some type of rolls, and a dessert. The only two items consistent is the ham and deviled eggs. I say “one special type” because every year I change up my recipes. The consistency for the family and our traditions is the ham/deviled eggs and the easter baskets. Other than that, we have so much fun each year deciding what recipes to try. Last year I did a quick and easy meal with only a few homemade items and used store bought for the rest. I prefer to cook most everything homemade and this year I plan on doing just that.
This year I am making one of my favorites~ Mango Basil Pasta Salad. A friend gave me this recipe many, many years ago and I haven’t made it in about 4-5 years. This recipe calls for Mango Vinegar and Basil Olive Oil. I’ve always used Consorzio brand purchased at William Sonoma and now find out they no longer carry the vinegar. So, I am currently searching the internet trying to find it elsewhere, or another brand, and if I can’t find it to buy or order it, I will make my own. Yes, it’s a little early to be thinking about this, but if I am making my own mango vinegar, I want to make it a few weeks in advance to really be sure the flavor is there.
MANGO BASIL PASTA SALAD
1 lb. penne pasta- cooked and cooled
1 yellow pepper chopped into cubes
1 red pepper chopped into cubes
1 green pepper chopped into cubes
1 zucchini- julienned
fresh basil- julienned ( about 1/4 cup total)
1 container of feta cheese- cubed (I use Athenos) ( I use 1 and 1/2 containers b/c I love the flavor)
1/3 c. basil oil
2/3 c. mango vinegar
2 medium shallots
salt/pepper to taste
Mix all pasta salad ingredients in a bowl. To make dressing, mince shallots in food processor, add oil and vinegar, process to emulsify dressing, add salt and pepper and pulse a few more times. Pour this over the salad, toss and garnish with the fresh basil.
Last year’s quick spread: