Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simple Summer Salad

Janet here: One of the many wonders of summer is the variety of salad options. Sure, you can cobble together something more than lettuce and carrots in the winter, but it's trickier and the options are more limiting. In the summer, though, the veggies are fresh and plentiful and eating a huge salad for dinner is more appealing than winter when you're often craving something hot and gut-gripping to help you make it through another cold cold day. Salad is as light as a summer's day itself.

Here's a pasta salad I made recently for a crowd of relatives. I can't wait to try it in the height of tomato season. What's your go-to summer salad?

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
serves 6-8

1/2 pound fusilli or some curly pasta
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium diced
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
6 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into bite-size pieces

for the dressing
5 sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup julienned fresh basil

Cook the pasta on the stove. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Cut up the olives, 6 sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and add to the bowl when the pasta is cool.

To make the dressing, mix all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until well mixed. Add to the large bowl and mix well. Season to taste.

When ready to serve, add the Parmesan and basil.

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