Monday, July 5, 2010

Summery Pasta Salad

Summer makes me think about light, fresh, and simple dishes. Nothing says summer more than a simple pasta salad with fresh vegetables from the farmers market. We had an impromptu birthday lunch for the hubby with the family a few weeks ago and I wanted an easy, healthy, make-ahead meal to serve. The menu:

Turkey and roast beef sandwiches
Pickles and condiments
Chips and salsa
Summery pasta salad
Birthday cake
Blueberries and strawberries

I put together a summer pasta salad with golden beets, English peas, parsley, purple scallions, and a lemony vinaigrette. Served cold, it was the perfect addition to a summer lunch. Sometimes simple really is better!

This pasta salad is perfect for customizing - throw in any veggies that you find at your local market. The ingredients will change along with the new crops all summer. I made the vinaigrette with lemon, you could easily use orange, lime, or your favorite vinegar.

Summery Pasta Salad
lb. bowtie pasta (or other short shape)
2 golden beets
English shelling peas (About 1 cup, after shelling)
1/4 cup purple scallions, chopped
About a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Start by roasting the beets
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Wash and dry beats and then wrap tightly in foil
Roast for one hour and then let cool before cutting into 1/2 inch cubes

Prepare pasta according to the package
Drain and briefly rinse with cold water
Pour pasta into a large serving bowl
Add peas and scallions into the hot pasta and toss

Lemony Vinaigrette
1 lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil

Juice lemon into a small measuring cup
Whisk in 3 parts olive oil (relative to how much lemon juice)
Add a little salt and pepper, to taste
Pour onto the warm pasta and toss well

Chill pasta salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve
Stir in the chopped parsley just before serving

Prep time: 15 minutes (or faster if you speed chop)
Cook time: Beets - 1 hour; Pasta - 10-15 minutes
Pasta pot, cutting board, knife, foil and baking sheet, serving bowl, measuring cup, utensils

1 comment:

  1. This salad looks so wonderful and refreshing for a hot day like today!


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