Our family’s favorite pick for a picnic is Pasta Salad. Hands down! And let me tell you, it’s not a salad reserved for picnics. Oh no. If ever I’m in a quandary about what to make for dinner…at least one person is likely to pipe up with “Pasta Salad”. It’s a summertime favorite because, so far, I’ve refused to serve it in the winter. I have to draw the line somewhere!
A bit different than other pasta salads, ours is loaded with fresh vegetables. In fact, seeing all the colors in the salad bowl makes me want to say “Confetti, Spaghetti”…but alas I can’t say that, after all, it isn’t spaghetti. For a main-dish dinner for our family of ten I boil 24 ounces of garden rotini, sometimes called rainbow spirals. And I’ll prepare at least eight cups of fresh vegetables.
Adjust the amounts of pasta and vegetables to the number of people you’re serving unless you’re inviting a crowd or want to eat leftovers for a week.
Pasta Salad Recipe:
- Broccoli and Cauliflower, tiny florets cooked crisp-tender
- Carrots and celery, sliced julienne style
- Green and red peppers, sliced thin
- Cucumbers, sliced thin in ¼ rounds
- Fresh green beans, cooked
- Radishes, sliced
- Black olives, one can, drained
I toss all of this with an Italian or Vinaigrette dressing. I make my own with red wine vinegar, olive or avocado oil and various spices. Use whatever dressing you like. And be sure to toss in a handful or two of fresh, shredded Parmesan cheese.
No one in the McFie Family would think it a proper Pasta Salad if we didn’t serve cottage cheese along side it…and diced tomatoes when in season.
It’s extra nice to make this salad ahead of time. Still, I like to add the dressing just before serving so the salad doesn’t soak it up yet seem too dry.