Thursday, August 25, 2011

One man's junk another man's treasure...

Today on my way to the store  in 40 degree heat to buy Rum and limes I saw how Hungary deals with their 'old stuff'.  Each district has a certain day that they can throw out anything they don't want or need any more. I am talking not just about clothing but window frames, old pots, foam mattresses, old Ikea furniture that is past it's prime etc. even dead plants, absolutely everything can be dumped . It sits there for a few days while people ( junk collectors mostly) come and pick up what they need from it and then whatever is left the city comes with trucks and picks up. This is a great way to eliminate a lot of trash in the dump sites. It shows how things can be re-used. 
So the thing is that each junk collector stakes his junk area. He sleeps in his car or has his family hang around to make sure that no one else takes anything from this pile. They then go home , cars and trucks completely packed with junk . They sort it out , clean it up and then take it to Flea markets to sell. Re-cycling at it's best!


Today being another really hot day I decided to make a pasta salad.
Again as typical of my recipes it is simple and fast and there is no order of how you mix things.
Ingrediants:     for 2 people  about 150 grams of good Italian Pasta
                      balsamic vinegar and regular vinegar , a bit of Soya
                     1/2 spoon of  oregano, Lawreys seasoning salt, thyme,and  parsely
                      small jar marinated forest mushrooms
                      small jar marinated artichokes
                      red pepper and garlic
                      a bit of soya sauce
                                                               Olive Oil

Boil the pasta for 10 minutes until it is al dente and then quickly rinse it with cold water and add 1 tbs spoon of Olive Oil and 1tbs spoon white vinegar, 1tbs of Balsamic vinegar and  one clove of garlic that has been pressed thru a garlic press and stir and let cool.

Once cool add the artichokes adding also a bit of the oil they were marinating in .
Then add the forest mushrooms and again add a bit of the oil they were marinating in.
Just do not add too much as at the end you can adjust the taste.

So with the cute mushrooms it will look like this . These little mushrooms are so cute, every time I take them out of the jar I expect a little  leprechaun will also jump out. These are tiny baby Italian mushrooms and if you can find them it is so much better to use them as they fit the size of the pasta. If not then try and find the smallest marinated  mushrooms available.
Now add the oregano , the thyme , the seasoning salt and soya.  Remember to add these after the marinating oils have been added otherwise you might have a very spiced up salad. The marinating oils have a great taste with their own herbs so try and keep that in mind ....always taste first then add..

So now we add the red pepper, we need this for colour!
Here in hungary we can find these red peppers. They are actually used
for stuffing ( you can stuff that Korozott you made last night into them LoL) but I use them here as I prefer the taste.  They are thinner skinned so they are better in a salad.  They do not get all mushy.

OK so now we have added everything we will place this in the fridge to cool nicely and to have all the tastes mingle. Before we use this salad we will taste and see if we should add any more spices. Some times the pasta soaks up the liquid and you need more oil.
Just before serving add a few sprigs of parsley, it again will give it a nice bit of color. I use sprigs as not everyone likes parsley and with a sprig you can remove it easily.
I am lucky as I have a herb garden on my roof top terrace and so I have the thyme  and parsley from there.
You noticed I did not add onions.
I feel that a salad like this with the wonderful marinated mushrooms and artichokes does not need the onions. Some times I think we just add onions just to add onions.

You can also exchange the mushrooms and artichokes for carrots , broccoli  , cauliflower and peas. Just increase the balsamic and olive oil amounts. When my daughter was younger she loved this salad and being a competitive swimmer the carbs were a fast form of energy and also  relaxing serotonin. Check her out at

Well I am off to make the Mojitoes as i have the rum and limes now!

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