June 16, 2011

Garden Fresh Pasta Salad

Here's something that's sure to be a hit at your summer BBQ.  It's really easy to make - and the homemade dressing is worth it!  Try it, you will like it, I promise!

6 TBS. olive oil
3 TBS. red wine vinegar
2 TBS. fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, finely, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Italian seasoning, dry blend
1/4 c. green onions chopped (white & green parts both)
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked al dente (better to under cook by a minute or two)
1/2 english cucumber, cut in fourths and chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1, 4 oz. can black olives (optional)
1 c. fresh pea pods
1 c. roughly chopped baby spinach leaves
In a blender or food processor, combine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, onion, italian seasoning and green onion. Blend until herbs have been minced. Add Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Blend briefly. With the blender or food processor on, gradually pour in olive oil. You will have a thick, creamy dressing. Set aside.

Cook pasta and allow to cool completely.  About 1 hour before serving add all of the dressing (reserving 1/2 c. to pour over right before serving).  Add vegetables, toss together and place in fridge to marinate for 1 hour.  Pour remaining 1/2 c. dressing right before serving.  Stays great in fridge for up to 3 days.

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