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It's a Salad, It's a Pasta

May 10, 2000

I have a great recipe for a main-dish salad. It's a complete meal and is good enough to serve for a casual company dinner. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Toast a handful of pine nuts in a small skillet and set aside. Add about 1/2 package of bow-tie pasta (4 to 6 ounces) to the boiling water. Meanwhile, rinse a package of mixed baby greens. Cut 1/2 a red bell pepper into matchstick size pieces, and thinly slice a handful of fresh mushrooms. Toss the peppers and mushrooms with the greens.

Drain cooked pasta, rinse with cold water until cooled, and add to the salad mix. Toss the salad-pasta mix with low-fat balsamic vinegar dressing (to taste). Place salad-pasta mix on plates and add a handful of smoked turkey or cooked chicken breast cubes. Top with toasted pine nuts. Pour a nice glass of Merlot, slice some crusty French bread and enjoy.

PATRICE STRUZIK

Sylmar

How do you get dinner on the table fast? We mean real fast. The rules: No more than one stop on the way home, no more than 10 minutes' prep time. The rest is up to you. To share your idea, write to The Last Minute, Los Angeles Times Food Section, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053. Or e-mail us at food@latimes.com.

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