Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Italian Dressing Garden Pasta Salad

Italian Dressing Garden Pasta Salad
During these hot and humid days of summer my appetite is for salads.  The past month or so I've made several batches of potato salad.  I'm all potato salad out now so it is time for pasta salad.  I just made this recipe this afternoon (with my own variations of course) and I'm telling you...THIS IS GOOD!

I'm sharing.  Here is the recipe (with my changes):

ITALIAN DRESSING GARDEN PASTA SALAD

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. fresh basil, finely minced (right out of my garden!)
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano,finely minced (again, right out of my garden)
2 tsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional - I optioned because I like a "bite")

FOR THE SALAD

8 oz (1/2 lb), pasta, cooked (I used the spiral garden vegetable tricolor rotini)
3 cups assorted vegetables (I used a minced red and green pepper and black olives and cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 peeled and chopped cucumber

Using a food processor or blender mix the salad dressing (there is no need to mince the garlic and herbs)

Cook the pasta according to package directions  Using colorful pasta and vegetables makes for an especially attractive salad.  Thats why I use multicolored rotini pasta.

Cook the pasta 9 to 11 minutes in boiling water.  Remove and drain and cool.

Add the vegetables to the pasta salad and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings.  More salt, pepper, herbs and cheese may be added or a little lemon zest of juice, or even a pinch of granulated garlic.

Refrigerate pasta at last two hours before serving.  Enjoy!

Garden salad ready for the refrigerator to be enjoyed at a later date

9 comments:

  1. Looks very refreshing; perfect to take to the beach on a hot day.

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  2. In an ice chest Nadege. This salad is best refrigerator cold. Very tasty!

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  3. Good and simple - and nothing beats fesh herbs! Now if I could only conjure up the Magical Kitchen Fairy to go into the 100F+ kitchen and prepare this and boil the pasta. *sigh*

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  4. I love stuff like this; it captures the urtext of summer, along with watermelon, iced tea, corn and tomatoes
    Yum!

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  5. My mouth is watering! I love your dressing. I'm definitely going to try it; I usually just get a Zesty Italian. Yours is so much more "fresh" and appealing! Bon appetit!

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  6. Dr. Spo,

    You hit the nail on the head! I also had a slice of water melon, one corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, a couple of scoops of chicken salad and an iced tea (in my special glass that doesn't condense) yesterday for dinner. Summertime meals, the best! How did you know that's what I had? I don't remember leaving my iPhone (with FaceTime) on.

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  7. Will,
    That's what I love about summertime meals, good and simple. You do have a point with boiling the pasta. I did have to steam up the kitchen to perform that necessary chore. But it was worth it because now I have pasta salad for a whole week! Delicious!

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  8. Life in Queue,
    I was going to use regular bottled Italian dressing but I decided to make the fresh dressing since I already had the fresh herbs in my garden. I am glad I did, it was so much better! Fresh is always better.

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  9. Sean,
    I'm glad you liked that vegetable pasta salad. I made it again yesterday without the black olives. I like black olives but it didn't seem to go with this salad. Everything else does though. I'm about to have some for lunch in a few minutes.

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