Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Veggie Pasta Salad

In the winter, soup is my staple food. I make a big batch at a time so we have enough to last for a few days for dinners, lunches, etc. Well, in the summer I do the same thing but with salads . . . especially hearty salads made with potatoes, beans, or grains. This pasta salad that I made this weekend that was a such a hit with my kids. We had some for dinner, took some to the beach, and the kids even ate it for snacks. It would be a great choice for a potluck as well.

Veggie Pasta Salad

I basically used all the veggies from my trip to the farmer's market and herbs from my garden, so don't feel like you have to stick to this exact combination. You can also add cooked beans or some crumbled feta cheese.

1 cup asparagus cut into bite-sized pieces
1 yellow summer squash, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
2 cups green beans cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups chopped kale (packed)
1 pound penne pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup black currant champagne vinegar (or flavor of your choice)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Blanch asparagus by putting in boiling water and letting cook a couple of minutes, until bright green and slightly tender. Use slotted spoon to remove asparagus to a colander. Immediately rinse with very cold water to prevent it from cooking further. Repeat with squashes, beans, and kale. When veggies are cooked, use the same boiling water to cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta.
To Assemble salad:
Put pasta in large mixing bowl. Add cooked vegetables and remaining ingredients. Toss together and chill until ready to serve.

Makes at least 10 servings

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