Memorial Day is this weekend and I am planning meals that I can make when my family comes to visit our beach house. We just planted herbs in our garden and I love being able to go out and pick them fresh to add to summer dishes. Just the aroma makes me feel good!
This pasta salad is really like summer in a bowl! It uses much of the produce we associate with summer and it goes well with any grilled meat or fish as a refreshing cold or room temperature side dish. It is really easy to prepare, because it mainly entails buying the fresh produce, and then chopping it. And it can be prepared ahead of time and served cold. Plus who doesn’t love a pasta salad?
Ingredients for the Salad:
- * 4 – 5 cups of cooked pasta (al dente / “slightly” chewy)
- * 4-5 small heirloom tomatoes chopped into bite size pieces
- * 2 peaches chopped
- * 1 small cucumber sliced and chopped
- * 1 ear of corn lightly boiled (a minute or so) and cut off the cob
- * 1/4 cup of fresh basil chopped
- * 1/4 cup of fresh mint chopped
- * salt & fresh ground pepper
For the Vinaigrette:
- * 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- * 1/4 cup of vinegar (I used a Dark Cherry Balsamic, but red wine vinegar works too)
- * salt & pepper to taste
- * 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
- * 1/4 cup of dried cherries
- * 1/3 cup of chopped baby mozzarella
Mix the chopped vegetables and fruit in with the pasta. Add the vinaigrette (reserving a bit) and stir gently. (I like to save an assortment of produce and some herbs to add to the top of the dish for visual affect and color!)
* add the condiments to the very top and drizzle the last of the vinaigrette over that. Refrigerate and serve cold or room temperature.
Enjoy, and have a wonderful Memorial Day!