Party Pasta Salad Recipe Needed
- phelana Jun 28, 2012 02:56 PM
I have a 4th of July party and have been asked to bring the pasta salad. I'd like a simple but creative recipe with no meat. Looking forward to your best recipes!
i love orzo for summer because it's not as heavy as the larger pastas.
GHG’S GREEK ORZO SALAD W/DRIED CHERRIES
Makes 8-10 servings
10 large black olives, pitted
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3-4 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cherries (halved if very large)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese or ricotta salata
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb dry orzo, cooked, cooled and transferred to large serving bowl
Add first 7 ingredients (olives through tomatoes) to bowl of food processor, and blend until it reaches the consistency of a loose paste or very thick sauce. Pour or spoon over cooked orzo, and toss gently until thoroughly coated. Fold in cherries, cheese and nuts, and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
if those flavors don't work with the other dishes being served it's easily altered, and i'd be happy to offer some suggestions for tweaks if you need them.
looks good, ghg.
i like tortellini salads with feta or mozz cubes, halved grape tomatoes (more flavor), black and stuffed olives, capers, artichokes, red bell pepper, italian parsley, cukes, finely shaved fennel or celery -- whatever you like from the mediterranean repertoire -- dressed with a garlicky-lemony vinaigrette (maybe with fine-diced sun-dried tomatoes). (for meat eaters, i also love to add salami or pepperoni cubes). i garnish with those banana pepper rings on top, with some halved tomatoes and a lemon slice, cut and twisted.
you can do the same with any pasta, including orzo, or grains like quinoa. it is a simple, flexible formula for bright & savory flavors, and varying texture.
Pesto Pasta - Make your pesto if you can, or buy a good brand like sauces and love or something fresh (though I still like home made) - mix at least half pesto and half mayonnaise for your dressing - add halved cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and/or blanched string beans. Might need some extra salt and pepper....Top with extra shredded parm and some basil chiffonade.
I too suggest Pesto Pasta, though I would recommend cutting it with olive oil and maybe some water rather than mayo. Love the cherry tomatoes and string beans--might even consider some diced steamed new potatoes--and the fresh mozzarella though I would skip the parm but keep the chiffonade.
I always have good luck at my terrazzo parties with fusilli al pesto -- normal pesto alla genovese over fusilli, served at room temperature. Even better is to boil green beans and diced potatoes in the same water as the pasta. This should properly be done sequentially, but you can do them together if you watch the timing.