Fresh Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Summer is such a wonderful time for fresh salads. Garden produce is abundant and "fresh-picked" takes on a special meaning. Welcome to the Blog today for a simple Summer Pasta Salad recipe.
Yesterday I was in a bit of a dinner planning slump. It was hot and I didn't want to heat the oven or stand over stove top burners so I opted to make a meal mid-day and clean up everything prior to dinner. The salad was prepared and dinner was no fuss.
The beauty of this salad is you can add any vegetables you have on hand or in the garden. I had just harvested peas so I steamed them until just tender and cooled them down in an ice water bath before adding to the salad. I had red and orange peppers on hand and some cherry tomatoes so they went in and some fresh basil and chives. Couple that with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette and some crumbled Feta cheese served at the table and dinner was ready.
Ingredients for Pasta
1 pound package pasta of choice, rotini, farfalle, or other small, twisty pasta.
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas (fresh peas should be partially cooked) (frozen peas should be thawed)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3-5 chive stalks cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Select your pasta and cook according to package directions. Cook to al dente. Drain pasta and place in large bowl.
Add about 1/3 of the vinaigrette to the pasta and toss until coated. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Prepare vegetables. Core and remove stems and seeds from the peppers. Rinse and cut in half the cherry tomatoes. Steam the fresh peas until tender and allow to cool to room temperature.
Combine vegetables and pasta together. Add remaining vinaigrette and toss.
Add minced chives, basil and parsley to pasta and toss until mixed.
Chill salad in refrigerator or serve at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
This recipe is easy to modify to include what you have on hand, tastes delicious and is lighter fare for Summer. You also get great leftovers that can be stored in the refrigerator for the next few days. They make great lunches or a side salad to salmon, chicken or even grilled portobello mushroom burgers. Try this one. The dressing is fresh and a bit tart. Perfect for a Summer evening.
Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey.
Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking and continue to whisk until the dressing is emulsified.
If your dressing is too tangy, add more olive oil to taste.
Add the thyme. Season to taste.
Will keep in the fridge up to one week. Take out of fridge and sit at room temperature before using.