A meat-free diet is so much easier to adopt when the food is made so beautiful and luscious that your palate has no anticipation or expectation of anything more.
This pasta salad truly fills the bill and will be one of your favorites for any gathering, party or Pot Luck Meal. It offers creaminess, crunch and chewy textures and flavor second to none. Dressed with sweet and sour vinaigrette, it is a safer summer salad for a BBQ or picnic. The flavors are full and leave no tastebud unsatisfied. Include the vegetable you love the most, even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. Omit any you don’t. You’ll love this salad for its easy preparation and won’t resent the little extra time it takes to prep the ingredients because it is so pleasing. You’ll want to award it your own “BLUE RIBBON”.
Ingredients List I. <Roasted Veggies>
- 6 large asparagus spears, peel tough ends and cut in 1″ lengths
- 1 c. baby carrots, cut in half to about 1″ lengths
- 1 medium purple onion, roughly chopped (not too small)
- 8/10 brussel sprouts quartered
- 4 large cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
- 3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 c. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Ingredients List II. <Garden Veggies>
- 1/2 c. sliced red radishes
- 1/2 c. scallions, diagonally sliced
- 1/2 c. celery hearts, diagonally sliced
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 c. sweet red pepper, julienned
- 2 tbs. chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tsp. lemon thyme
- 1/4 cup sweet basil chiffonade
- 2 tbs. large capers, rinsed and drained
Ingredients List III.
- 1 lb. tricolor curly pasta (cook according to package instructions)
- 6- oz. Italian Dressing (Wishbone® preferred; nonfat or low fat o.k.)
- 3 tbs. good balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toss the prepared veggies from list I in a large bowl and toss together with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and grated Parmigiana Reggiano until all are well coated.
- Place in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast in a 400°F oven until carrots are crisp tender (25-30 minutes)
- While veggies are roasting cook the pasta according to the package directions. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- While pasta is still warm toss together with the roasted veggies, the dressing ingredients from list III, adding the garden vegetables when pasta has cooled. Add additional Italian dressing is necessary.
- Adjust seasonings, dressing to taste, cover and refrigerate