Why: The notion of cooking dinner in the kitchen during the hot summer months is just something I cannot bear. So, when I found Beverly Le Blanc's book titled, "Simple But Perfect Salads: The Taste of Summer All Year Round" it was like finding the Hope Diamond of summer cookbooks. The recipes were very simple to follow making time in the kitchen minimal. The majority of dishes contained healthy, easy to find ingredients with a good mix of protein, carbs, and fresh veggies. Plus, the photos were vivid and just gorgeous.
Ingredients: 7 oz./200 g dried fusilli (corkscrew-shaped pasta) 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered 1 red onion, sliced 4 tomatoes, sliced 7 oz/200 g canned tuna in brine, drained and flaked (I used organic tuna from local health food store)
For the Dressing: 6 tbsp basil-flavored oil or extra-virgin olive oil 3 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tbsp lime juice 1 tsp mustard 1 tsp honey 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus extra sprigs to garnish
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender but still firm to the bite.
Meanwhile, put the bell pepper quarters under a preheated hot broiler and cook for 10-12 minutes until the skins begin to blacken. Transfer to a plastic bag, seal, and set aside.
Remove the pasta from the heat, drain, and set aside to cool. Remove the bell pepper quarters from the bag and peel off the skins. Slice the bell pepper into strips.
To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and stir together well. Add the pasta, bell pepper strips, onion, tomatoes, and tuna. Toss together gently, then divide among serving bowls. Garnish with basil sprigs and serve.