I hate waste, so I love using leftovers. Frequently I’ll try to figure out some new and interesting recipe to use up the stuff in my fridge. But more often my motto is simply: in cold weather put everything into a pot pie, when it it’s warm outside cut it up into a salad.
It’s warm outside.
So leftovers become: leftovers plus vinaigrette = salad = dinner.
Like this one, from leftover brisket, tomatoes and vegetables. I also had a half avocado, so I mashed it up into the vinaigrette and spiced it up with chili pepper.
Beef and Pasta Salad with Avocado-Chili Vinaigrette
1 pound penne pasta
2 cups cut up leftover beef
1 cup halved grape tomatoes or 2 medium cut up tomatoes
2 cups cut up cooked broccoli, asparagus or green beans
1 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional
1/2 avocado, pitted, mashed
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook the penne and drain but reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Place the pasta in a bowl. Add the beef, tomatoes and vegetable. In a jar or small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, cilantro, avocado and jalapeno pepper and shake (cover the jar) or whisk the ingredients until well combined. Pour some of the dressing over the pasta and other ingredients. Toss to coat all the ingredients. Add more of the dressing, to taste and/or some of the cooking water, if necessary to moisten the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If you don’t use all the dressing you can save it for another salad.) Makes 4 servings