Some time ago, I saw a recipe for a dish that was “Deconstructed Guacamole” something or other. The idea was to use the separate ingredients that made guacamole without actually making guacamole and using it in the recipe. I liked the idea and immediately started thinking of other things could be “deconstructed” in a recipe. This is a recipe that I came up with a few years ago…one that uses pesto ingredients along with a few other things to make a really nice pasta salad.
DECONSTRUCTED PESTO PASTA SALAD
1 lb. bowtie pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup diced white or yellow onion
¾ cup chopped Kalamata olives
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the pasta, chicken, basil, pine nuts, cheese, onion, and olives in a large bowl and stir to mix.
In a separate bowl or large mixing cup, combine the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper and whisk well to combine. Pour dressing over salad and mix well to coat.
NOTE: I took a shortcut here and used rotisserie chicken, but feel free to substitute whatever you have.
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg