Pasta has never been my comfort food. I don't crave it. It does nothing for me. I don't order it when eating out. I don't even cook with it. Please don't ask me my current thoughts about black olives. Never, in a billion years will I order anything containing olives. Ever. At least they were finely chopped! However, last summer my dear cousin Peggy changed my life. She brought a pasta salad to the annual family reunion that literally rocked my pathetic little world. I ate several helpings and then snagged a plate for leftovers that evening. It was just enough to tide me over and fill my head with crazy ideas and concoctions.
For the past year, I have been thinking of it. I have tried to add different fresh veggies to some pasta and re-create it. Now, I have made a pretty decent replica. It just doesn't compare with what I remembered. I didn't realize the salad contained pimentos. Lemon juice? Mayonnaise? No way!
This past weekend I traveled back to the family reunion. Cousin Peggy was there again. I had completely forgotten about that salad until I noticed the light shining down from the heavens. Angels began singing in my head. My first thought was to snag the bowl and go hide in the corner with a fork. But, I didn't want the others to notice I had something that good. My next thought was to hide it on the dessert bar. Those people would rather go straight for the "death by chocolate" than a veggie pasta salad. Who wouldn't, right?
Quietly, I loaded the plate with a small amount of other food to sample. I had no intention of eating the beans and chicken. I quickly loaded the plate with 2 spoons of the "salad" and walked away. No one noticed the salad yet. It sat there non-chalantly near the chocolate. It looked lonely among the sweets. I quietly ate my salad and tossed the remaining side items in the trash. I went back for more. It was devine. My next thoughts were....... "Would she miss this bowl?" "Could I make a quick run home to empty it and trade containers?" Then dear Chandra waltzed over and loudly proclaimed......... "This is amazing". The nerve of that girl to advertise THE salad. Thoughts of duck taping her mouth shut quickly came to mind. Duck tape was no where to be found in the church kitchen. Could there be a stapler somewhere?
An hour or so later.......... I grabbed a clean plate and loaded it with leftovers for dinner. Cousin Peggy noticed what I was doing and said......... "You really do like that. I guess I need to share the recipe now." Now, please......what took you so long?
"Peggy's Pasta Salad".
1 package Vermicelli Pasta (cooked & drained)
1 small can diced Black Olives (drained)
1 small jar chopped Pimento (drained)
5 Green Onions (chopped)
1/2 Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
Toss all that together & set aside.
1/2 cup EVOO
2 Tbs Cavender's Greek Seasoning
3 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Mayo
Pour half of the pasta and let set overnight. Pour the remaining dressing over just before serving.
If desired, add cherry tomatoes, diced chicken, mozzarella cheese balls or shrimp.
In case you are worried about dear Chandra, I promise no harm fell to her that afternoon from me.