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February 23, 2011

Pasta Salad with Fresh Summer Vegetables

Get your daily recommended vegetables in with this wonderfully fresh and colorful summer pasta.

Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes
Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

•12 ounces rotini (corkscrew) pasta •1/4 cup white-wine vinegar •1 tbsp. water •1 tablespoon Lime pepper •1/2 tablespoon honey •1/2 cup minced fresh herb leaves •1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil •2 pints red or yellow pear tomatoes or cherry tomatoes or a combination, halved •3/4 cup shredded carrots •¼ cup diced zucchini •¼ cup diced yellow squash •½ cup black and green olives (optional) •3/4 cup diced Cheddar, Fontina, Edam, or Swiss cheese. •Lime slices to garnish

Instructions:

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. During the last 3 minutes add the zucchini and squash; drain in a colander.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, honey, lime pepper, and herbs. Add the oil in a stream, whisking until well blended.
Add the pasta and the remaining ingredients including the vinaigrette to the bowl and toss well. Garnish with lime and serve the salad at room temperature.

Terri’s Tips:

o I use cilantro and parsley for this salad because I love the flavor combination with lime and pepper. But you can use your favorite herb, such as mint, basil or dill.
o If you use dill or mint try garnishing with lemon slices
o If you prefer different pasta, select one that will hold up in this salad: bow tie, penne, or rotoni. Use tri colored for added color
o Be sure and cook the pasta al dente.
o The vegetables should only be slightly tender. You can steam them in advance and keep refrigerated or try them grilled for changing the flavor profile. Try adding a dash of liquid smoke to the vinaigrette

Cooking Wiser:

o Select a whole grain pasta
o Spray the pasta with low fat oil and use only ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
o Select a low fat cheese
o This recipe has no salt, the flavor comes from the lime, pepper and herbs

Posted by terri at February 23, 2011 06:16 PM

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