1 cup leftover cooked pasta shapes e.g shells, farfalle, fusilli
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 piece of sundried tomato in oil, chopped small
½ cup frozen garden peas
10 slices chorizo, fried
1 handful mixed salad leaves
1 sprig basil
1 tsp grainy mustard
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons best quality olive oil
1 tablespoon oil from jar of sundried tomatoes
Make pasta for dinner the evening before, in the usual way. As soon as you drain it, put aside the portion for next day’s lunchbox, add a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together and refrigerate.
On a medium hot frying pan, fry chorizo slices on both sides till crispy. Cover these in foil and hide in the fridge or they’ll never make it to the lunchbox.
Make dressing by putting all ingredients in a screw topped jar (left over jam jar).
Later that evening, or in the morning (it depends on your time constraints and what suits your family best), assemble the lunchbox salad.
Place the pasta at the bottom, add the peas, tomatoes and sundried tomato bits, and dressing. Mix well with a spoon.
On top of this, place the chorizo slices, and at the very top, the salad leaves and basil. Once the leaves come in contact with the dressing, they will begin to wilt, so leaving them at the top protects them until the diner opens the lunchbox and mixes the lot.
It’s a delight to open a lunchbox after a busy morning to be assailed by the perfume of basil, and for all the other lovely aromas to rise into the air as the salad is mixed.
This one is always eaten in full: the taste is delicious, it looks so pretty and the balance of protein, low GI carbohydrates and veg is so satisfying.
There are endless modifications to this salad depending on what’s available or in season.