I’ve mentioned my potluck anxiety before, haven’t I?
One bad experience with a mystery dish at a church potluck will do that to you.
So now eating at a potluck is out.
But I still get invited to potlucks!
Sometimes I feel compelled to say, “Yes, I’d be delighted to attend
because I haven’t flirted with food poisoning in awhile.”
Then begins the second round of potluck anxiety. Yes, there’s a second level to this madness!
What do I make that will travel well, can sit out and not make people sick, and be a crowd pleaser? I call this the potluck trifecta and it’s a difficult dish to find.
Surprisingly, the crowd pleaser thing is not about my self-esteem. If I cared too much about what people thought, I wouldn’t write a blog and let all my potluck anxiety hang out there.
It’s more about the fact that I don’t want to take home food that has 1) set out for hours 2) had a billion little kids sneeze on it, pick it up and put it back, etc. 3) been a buffet for flies, bees and ants.
See, I hate wasting food and sometimes food that’s been subjected to the rigors of a potluck, especially an outdoor one is just…what’s the word? Gross. It’s gross.
Welcome to my brain. I own my quirks.
Now, all of that explanation was
not at all necessary to bring us to the point of this riveting article. I tried a new-to-me recipe that I THOUGHT might have potluck potential.
It was for a Lemony Cucumber and Herb Pasta Salad that I saw on Real Simple.
Sounds different, right? Sounds summery, right?
There’s no mayonnaise in it, so less chance of food poisoning, right? Right?!?
The recipe was easy and straight-forward to make. Most of it can be done ahead of serving time too.
The pasta salad was really lemony, which I liked. It had a weird combination of herbs, cilantro and mint, which I really, really liked.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you decide to buy the ingredients for this salad at 6 p.m. on a Sunday night, which is the worst possible time to go to a grocery store, your fresh herb selection may be pathetic. I couldn’t even find fresh mint. Was everyone making
mojitos this recipe? Anyway, I substituted fresh mint for dried and it worked in a pinch.
Would I make Lemony Cucumber and Herb Pasta Salad again? OH YES.
I have a jar of dried mint to use up, after all!
Handy Husband and I both
stuffed our faces enjoyed this salad, so I will make it again. If I’m invited to a potluck in the near future and don’t weasel out of the invitation, this is what I will bring.
Now, in full disclosure, my kids with their sophisticated palates (sarcasm alert) were not thrilled with the salad. They asked for plain pasta with butter instead. How did they know I had been waiting
since our last meal for a good time to pull out a phrase my mom used to say, “I’m not a short order cook and this isn’t a diner!”
I did serve this pasta salad with chicken for a complete meal, but I also ate it for lunch the next day without the chicken and it was delicious. I did prefer it that first day before the pasta had sucked up all the dressing, but I was still happy to open the refrigerator and see we had leftovers!
Make this Lemony Cucumber and Herb Pasta Salad if you want to have a salad that’s a little bit different, a little bit unexpected – all in a good way.
Other recipes in the Would I Make It Again Series: