Long before I had to cook, I loved to cook. I enjoyed researching and learning about food. I loved going into the spice section at the grocery store and deeply inhaling, imagining the things I could make. I dragged my whole family to the farmer’s market. The pride I saw on the farmer’s faces as they talked about their products was contagious and it was a joyous occasion. I enjoyed grocery shopping on a freakishly high level.
It might be a given that I have a passion for cooking as I do have a food blog. But, beyond trying to better my food photography, writing, and recipe development, I have been attempting to hide the passion. I have been hiding behind the fact that I need to cook. I have almost forgotten the fact that I have always cooked a lot and from scratch even before being gluten/dairy/corn/soy/etc. free.
It has been rather awkward, writing a food blog, while feeling a passion for cooking was somehow wrong. Add that to the fear of always being afraid I will say something wrong. Or somehow bring the entire wrath of purists everywhere when I do inauthentic dishes. There have been so many things I have wanted to say that makes me smile. Memories with food, describing taste, and smell. But, I have deleted them. Serving out canned posts that were a struggle to write as I tried to fit in the square box I was attempting to shove myself in. I don’t do square.
In a world of convenience foods and time saving tips I am choosing to go the slow route. Even time saving things that I can do…I usually don’t. Mostly because I want to be able to have quality control and also usually the alternative/allergy foods readily available are quite often pretty junky/tasteless.
This really has nothing to do with this recipe. But as I sat down to write this post I was dreading it. Not sure what to say. I have had an absolutely horrific time writing for this blog. Recipes I can do. Writing about them…that is another matter. It is something I am going to be working on, but I realized that I just have not been very real. I have not been saying what I want to say for fear of being attacked. I have been in the blogging world for several years now and know many other bloggers. I have seen them attacked and ridiculed both online and in person with friends/family who read their blog. It scares me.
Many people I know think that my passion for cooking is bizarre. Taking photos of food is strange…spending hours upon hours writing a blog is strange…and I have decided that is fine. We all have our own things we enjoy doing. My father in law takes photos of major league baseball players graves. It is a very unique hobby that helps to make him the unique and wonderful person he is. My husband likes legos. Something I will never understand, because I like to create. My dad does math puzzles and researches tiny house living. Valerie, even at just 1, will engage anyone around her in a blinking eye game. We have recently been watching American Ninja Warrior. I can say beyond any shadow of a doubt that I have no desire to ever try and climb and descend devil steps, but it is interesting to see others do it.
I am embracing the strange. Next time I swing open our double doors, and lay on the carpet to photograph food on massive blue boards? I am doing it with pride.
Now, onto the food, and the strange combo it is. Strange but good. The spaghetti kind of clings to the other ingredients making a pasta salad with tons of arugula leaves and delicious roasted pepper possible. The dressing is a bit tart, without being to vinegary or lemon-y (occasionally there is such a thing) which is why I use both.
Man, all that talk about passion and wanting to really delve into the food and I am hardly taking the time to actually describe the dish. I am just out of time, and energy. Bed is calling my name. So, without further ado a strange lady with a strange passion presents potentially the strangest pasta salad you will ever see. Fitting.
- 4 warm colored bell peppers (I used 2 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow)
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablepoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2½ tablespoons poppy seeds
- ½ cup tasty tasting olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon real salt (maybe)*
- For the salad
- 1 lb brown rice spaghetti style pasta
- 3 oz arugula leaves
- 5-6 large basil leaves, chiffanode
- 1 pinch course Celtic or pink Himalayan sea salt (maybe)*
- 1 medium sized tomato, seeded and chopped
- *Only use one of the salts. I prefer the coarse salt added to the salad, but use salt in the dressing when I am out. Do salt the pasta water when cooking though!
- To roast the peppers: broil on high, close to the broiler, for about 4-5 minutes or until the skins on the top are burnt. Rotate and broil for another 4-5 minutes. Do it a third time (so you are broiling three "sides" of the bell pepper). Once they are done let cool in a lidded container (or a bowl with plate on it) until ready to handle. The steam will help the skin to come off very easily. Peel off the charred skin. Cut off the tops and slice them open. Remove the seeds. Cut into approximately ¼" by 1" strips. If desired you can broil the peppers ahead of time because it is by far the most time consuming part of the meal, and then they can be cooled and ready to cut when making dinner.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Make sure to use salted water and when they are finished cooking rinse them off with cold water well. This is essential for making pasta salads with brown rice pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking make the dressing by mixing everything but the oil together. Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine.
- Combine the pasta, dressing, arugula, peppers, basil, and tomatoes. Toss to combine. I find it easiest with my hand. This pasta is best at room temperature - slightly warm. If serving from out of the fridge you will want to heat it some as brown rice pasta gets hard in the fridge.