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Need Help with Pasta Salad

I need to make a very colorful (oil and vinegar) pasta salad for a shower. I need some ideas for unique vegetables to put in the salad. I plan to make the veggie/pasta ratio about 50/50. I would also love some photos of colorful pasta salads and maybe even some tips on creative ways to cut the veggies.

Any ideas are welcome.

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    1. this is excellent and very colorful with cukes, tomatoes, broccoli, olives and carrots in addition to the tricolored pasta

      http://www.grouprecipes.com/107418/na...

      2 Replies
      1. re: allthatglitters

        All good ingredients. I'd add slivers or small dice of red pepper, red onion, radish and fresh basil and crumbled feta. Plenty of freshly chopped garlic and evoo won't hurt either.

        1. re: allthatglitters

          Thanks! This might work if I doubled the veggies.

        2. I get this delicious kale salad at Whole Foods from their prepared foods bar that is so colorful and inspires me to make colorful salads at home. In addition to kale, it has pomegranate seeds, red onion, lima beans, grape tomatoes, shaved carrots, radicchio or red cabbage, pecans, etc. Of course all you have to do is add some pasta and any sort of vinaigrette and you're in business.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lynnlato

            Here's one that's not your typical pasta salad, and the flavors are perfect for autumn.

            Orzo Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Baby Bella Mushrooms, and Aged Cheddar (recipe adapted from Kerrygold)

            http://michaelbeyer.me/2012/11/03/orz...

            Ingredients

            1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" dice
            6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
            Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
            1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, cut into 1/2" dice
            1 cup (8 ounces) orzo pasta
            1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
            1 cup (about 4 ounces) aged cheddar cheese, grated or small diced cubes
            1/2 cup green onions, sliced (optional
            ) 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

            Preparation

            Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two heavy-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. On the first sheet spread butternut squash out evenly, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. On the second sheet spread mushrooms out evenly, drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast squash for 25 minutes and mushrooms for 20 minutes, or until tender. Lift vegetables on parchment paper off of baking sheet to cool.

            Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Add the orzo and stir. Cook until it starts to brown. Add 2 cups of water and some kosher salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Mix in rosemary and remove from heat.

            In large mixing bowl, add orzo, squash, mushrooms, aged cheddar, and green onions (if using). Mix in remaining three tablespoons olive oil and white wine vinegar, and toss gently. Serve warm or at room temperature.

            Preparation

            Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two heavy-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. On the first sheet spread butternut squash out evenly, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. On the second sheet spread mushrooms out evenly, drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast squash for 25 minutes and mushrooms for 20 minutes, or until tender. Lift vegetables on parchment paper off of baking sheet to cool.

            Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Add the orzo and stir. Cook until it starts to brown. Add 2 cups of water and some kosher salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Mix in rosemary and remove from heat.

            In large mixing bowl, add orzo, squash, mushrooms, aged cheddar, and green onions (if using). Mix in remaining three tablespoons olive oil and white wine vinegar, and toss gently. Serve warm or at room temperature.

             
            1. re: lynnlato

              Oh wow. Thanks sooooo much. Radicchio and kale would be great additions. Love the pomegranate seeds too.

            2. What about a combination of red and purple peppers, green snow peas, yellow baby corn with tri-colored pasta, and a bit of red onion? I'd be tempted to do it with an asian vinagrette and toasted sesame seeds.

              2 Replies
              1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                Now that there sounds great. I'll make it that way next time I make a salad.

                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                  Yum....! Sounds beautiful too. Thanks so much for the idea.

                2. Whatever you put into it, remember to correct for salt, pepper, and vinegar just before serving.