Even though grilling is quintessential to summer eating, I find that pasta salads are equally synonymous with summer gatherings. Whether it’s a barbecue, a picnic, or a potluck, there’s always a pasta salad handy to round out your plate. A lot of people try to avoid mayonnaise based pasta salads when the weather is warm and turn instead to lighter versions using vinaigrettes and salad dressings.
T.Lish provided participating bloggers with their three flavors of vinaigrettes: Asian Sesame, Chipotle, and Sweet Garlic. As you can tell from the blog post title, I used the first flavor for a pasta salad. The Chipotle was a fan favorite when we had friends over for wings (and I served up some Garlic Hot Wings along with a couple other flavors). The Sweet Garlic is my personal favorite and have tossed it on haricot vert for a simple side dish.
There are many veggie add-ins that would work with the Asian Sesame vinaigrette. I was really hoping to add baby corn to my salad but my grocery store didn’t have any. Broccoli, snap peas, cucumber, and carrot would also work. You could even turn this pasta salad into an entree by adding some cocktail shrimp!
Asian Sesame Pasta Salad
- 2 C uncooked rotini pasta
- 3/4 C frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1/3 C diced red bell pepper
- segments from 1 1/2 – 2 mandarin oranges
- 1/2 C Asian Sesame Vinaigrette
- juice 1/2 – 1 mandarin orange
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
- In a bowl, toss together veggies, mandarins, and cooked pasta.
- In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette and mandarin orange juice. Season to taste with S+P. Add to pasta salad and toss to combine. Keep cold until ready to serve.
Today is the last day to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more summertime recipes today:
Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden, Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds, Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books, Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Chef for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats without additional compensation. All opinions are my own.
I love the Secret Recipe Club so much that when the opportunity presented itself to help someone out in Group B’s reveal day I jumped on it! There are four groups in the Secret Recipe Club. We each post on a different Monday. As I am a member of group D, my reveal day is the fourth Monday of every month. As you can tell, group B posts on the second Monday of the month. Today!
My assigned blog for this “bonus” posting is Flavors by Four, a mother daughter blogging team. I started searching through their blog and found over ten things that piqued my interest. They have a wonderful selection of appetizers which is perfect now that the holiday party season is fast approaching. If you like stuffed mushrooms I encourage you to head on over to their blog, they have a multitude of recipes to choose from including French Onion Soup and Spinach Artichoke. With American Thanksgiving on the horizon I was tempted to pick their Orange Cranberry Bread and Mini Gobbler Pies are a fantastic idea for leftovers! I’m actually making their Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes tomorrow night.
I ultimately settled on Nicole’s Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad. Frozen grapes are my favorite healthy dessert and we are on a grape kick right now. I also really like broccoli but never seem to buy it. I knew that this pasta salad would be great for me to have in the fridge as a quick lunch during the week. With a four month old I never know when I’ll be able to eat and this pasta salad sounded like a great alternative to my bagel. Of course, this would be a perfect dish to take to a potluck!
Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad
- 6 strips cooked center cut bacon, chopped
- 1/2 lb pasta, cooked and drained
- 2 heaping cups halved grapes
- 4 C broccoli florets
- 2 heaping tbsp finely diced red onion
- 1 C mayonnaise
- 1/3 C red wine vinegar
- 1/8 C sugar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- In a large bowl toss together cooked bacon, cooked pasta, grapes, broccoli, and red onion.
- In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Toss pasta salad in dressing and chill in the refrigerator over night.
*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at http://flavorsbyfour.blogspot.com/2013/09/broccoli-grape-pasta-salad.html *
To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:
This entry is my final entry of my Lenten assignment to cook recipes from Rena Rosser’s Eating the Bible: Over 50 Delicious Recipes to Feed Your Body and Nourish Your Soul. (However, this won’t be the last thing I make from Rena’s cookbook!)
I thought it only fitting to cook the last recipe in the book!
This last entry references Deuteronomy 33:28 “And Israel shall dwell securely alone, Jacob’s blessing, in a land of grain and wine, and the heavens with drip dew.”
Rena titled this Bible study section “A Return to Eden” because it is up to the new residents of Israel to “restore [it] to its original Eden status.” The people are expected to bless the land, rather than the land bless them.
Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent, but that doesn’t mean a halt has to be put on your spiritual education until next year. Continue to live your life so that it blesses those around you.
As much as I would have liked to keep Rena’s recipe true to itself (Red Wine and Barley Salad) for this final blog post, I am allergic to barley so I substituted Israeli Couscous. Publix was out of red bell pepper so I bought a green one (I love the pop of color it brings to the salad though). After changing a few things I then changed even more to suit my personal preferences – I omitted the almonds, feta, and grapes. Having tasted the salad, grapes would be delicious in here – but the grapes in my fridge were questionable and thought it safest to leave them out. I absolutely love the dressing she created and actually tripled it to use as a marinade for grilled chicken to serve along side the couscous.
This recipe would be fantastic to add to your next potluck picnic as an alternate pasta salad!
Red Wine Israeli Couscous Salad
- 1 1/4 C water
- 1 C Israeli Couscous
- 1/2 C diced red onion
- 1/2 C diced bell pepper
- 1 C quartered grape tomatoes
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp parsley paste (use fresh parsley if you have it)
- Bring water to a boil. Add in the couscous and cook covered over low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all water is absorbed.
- In a bowl combine couscous with onion, pepper, and tomatoes.
- In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and parsley paste. Note: If you are using fresh parsley do not mix it with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss couscous salad with dressing.
*This recipe is modified from Eating the Bible by Rena Rossner*
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