The Recipe: A pasta salad with summer's best fresh garden veggies, light on the pasta, generous with the veggies and all tossed in a g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s mint vinaigrette. Fresh and summery, perfect for light summer meals. Most adaptable!
Real food. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.
Ohhhh people, I sure do hope there's fresh mint in your garden – – preferably in an herb pot since unfettered mint might-could one day envelop the world in fragrant spearmint leaves! – – because wow, who knew the beauty of a fresh-mint vinaigrette? Certainly not me until now: what a real revelation!
The inspiring recipe comes from Pinterest, a recipe I pinned but never made. This was way back, but even now, that single recipe keeps getting re-pinned and re-pinned!
Curious, I returned to the source, one of my favorite food blogs, Dana Treat – oh no, I hope all is well, as of this day she's not posted since December 2013 – to experience the real thing, in my own kitchen with my own tastebuds.
Now my recipe is quite different than Dana's recipe. First I up-ended the proportions, using just half the pasta and a third of the vinaigrette for the same amount of vegetables – I thought it was a perfect balance of carbs and healthy vegetables, thank you! I also omitted her grilled halloumi cheese and the chickpeas but think they would make fine protein-rich additions.
GARDEN PASTA SALAD
with MINT VINAIGRETTE
Time to table: 30 minutes but best chilled for 2 - 3 hours
Makes 4-1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup (130g) "small" pasta such as Israeli couscous, orzo or riisi
- Well-salted cooking water
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced small
- 1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 2 ears sweet corn, kernels sliced off and cobs "milked" (How to Cut Corn Off the Cob, Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn 'Milk')
- 1 cup (125g) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 2 green onions, halved lengthwise and diced small
PASTA Cook pasta according to package directions, except they always leave out the salt, don't make that mistake! You should end up with about 2 cups of cooked pasta. Drain well and cool slightly.
MINT VINAIGRETTE Mix all ingredients in a small food processor.
GARDEN VEGETABLES Prep the vegetables.
COMBINE Stir together cooked pasta and vegetables, then stir in the Mint Vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours for flavors to develop.
OTHER VEGETABLES? You bet! I especially selected vegetables that could remain raw, aiming for a mix of colors, shapes and textures.
Other vegetable ideas include artichoke hearts, daikon, jicama, kohlrabi, radishes, snow peas, sugar snap peas, tomatillo and zucchini.
Others vegetables would benefit from being dropped into the hot pasta water for a minute or two, just to take off their rough, raw edge. To my taste, that would include asparagus, tiny broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrots and green beans.
Love Fresh Mint? Me Too!~ Mango Lassi with Mint ~
~ Ina Garten's Tabbouleh Salad ~
~ Mint Julep Pork Chops ~
~ Summer Fruit Salad ~
from Kitchen Parade
~ Kohlrabi & Apple Slaw with Creamy Coleslaw Dressing ~
~ Lemon Mint Cucumber Water ~
~ Never Buy Fresh Herbs Again ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog
More Summer Salad Recipes
~ Seven-Layer Strawberry Salad with Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing ~
~ Fattoush (Traditional Middle Eastern Salad) ~
~ Summer Orzo with Radicchio ~
~ more vegetable salad recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog
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