Well, summer is finally upon us. It's time for BBQs, picnics, and all sorts pot-luck of frivolity. Being a vegetarian, the ubiquitous summer gathering always poses a bit of a challenge. I love food, and I do not eat like a bird. There is nothing worse than smelling bbq and watching everyone stuff themselves while I gnaw on carrot sticks and mellon balls. Mama wants to EAT! Well, I'm sure there are some things worse than that (war, cancer, American Idol), but starving at a bbq is up there. I also feel it is bad form to expect the hosts to arrange their party around my dietary needs. Yes, that is part of good party planning, but when I am a guest, I need to be prepared.
So, I came up with this little dish to fill any veggie voids left by my carnivorous hosts... Atomic Pasta Salad. Tasty, filling, and always a welcome addition to any summer soirée. Don't worry it isn't spicy. The name "Atomic" doesn't come from the flavor, but from the atomic age. In the 1950's convenience foods were all the rage, bottled, canned, frozen... plastic was in! This salad is a reflection of that. It is not organic or "from scratch" by any means, although the recipe can be tweaked to make it so. It's easy to make last minute with what you've got hanging around the kitchen already. I last brought this salad to an Easter bbq and egg hunt, and it was one of the most popular dishes of the party. It's quite the complement when you go home with an empty dish!
|The delish sandwich in the background is a BLT lovingly hand crafted by my Mr. with soy bacon!|
Atomic Pasta Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total cook/chill time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 - 8
12oz Rainbow Rotini Pasta
1/2c diced red onion
1/2c chopped red bell pepper
1/2c finely chopped carrots
1/4c green onion
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4c Olive Oil (light)
2 tbsp Strawberry Basil Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp Brianna's Homestyle Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
Shredded Parmesan Cheese to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
*optional add ins: I like to add sliced grape tomato and black olives. My Mr. hates both of those things, so I put them on the side and add them to my individual plate.
1/2c Ken's Steak House Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing
|Nothing fancy... just bits from my kitchen.|
1) Bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add pasta. Boil pasta for about 9 min. stirring occasionally.
2) Drain pasta and set it aside in a large glass mixing bowl.
3) Mix in olive oil. Be sure to coat all of the pasta to prevent sticking.
4) Add in red onion, green onion, carrots, rosemary, and garlic. Mix well, but be careful not to disturb the shape of the pasta. The spirals will be somewhat fragile until they cool.
5) Fold in the Ken's Steakhouse Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing. Be sure to coat every last bit of pasta and veg!
6) Add in the Strawberry Basil Balsamic Vinegar and Brianna's Homestyle Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing. Again, stir well, but carefully.
7) Add parmesan, slat, and pepper to taste.
8) Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or until cold.
|Fresh rosemary from my garden.|
I do hope you enjoy!