Friday, March 2, 2012

Pasta Salad

A while ago while trying to figure out how to make a homemade pasta salad, I stumbled upon a really neat article titled "Five Steps to a Perfect Pasta Salad."  I was intrigued, 5 steps and completely adaptable; like a good "choose-your-own-ending" book.  I followed the steps, and my salad turned out awesome! Then I completely forgot about it, until today. I had a huge craving for pasta salad (thank you pregnancy for finally giving me a craving that includes lots of veggies and no chocolate), so I pulled out the article again and for a second time, I was not let down. The results looked and tasted great!
Things I love about this article:
The author, Pam Anderson, teaches cooking classes across the country--sounds like a pretty legit source to me.
The directions are simple, yet very clear.
There are lots of suggestions for things to put in.
And it works!

Here's the salad I made today (with the corresponding steps from the article):
Step 1- Rainbow pasta
Step 2- Broccoli, carrots, and cucumber
Step 3- I didn't have any of the suggestions ready on hand, so I used little cubes of Colby Jack cheese. It worked really well.
Step 4- I left out green onions (my husband is not a fan), and for the herbs I used 1 T. dill, 1 1/2 T. parsley, and the last 1/2 T. rosemary. (The rosemary flavor wasn't very strong, so I think next time I'll do 1 T. of each).
Step 5- I used the link for Creamy Buttermilk Dressing. For the optional rice vinegar or lemon juice, I did half and half. The vinegar taste was a little too strong, so I think next time I'll do all lemon juice or just leave it out. For this salad however, I balanced out the flavors a bit more by adding some extra mayo. Despite some of the negative reviews, my dressing was not overly thick (although with the nature of the salad, that wouldn't have been too bad) or bland (since herbs were already added to the salad).

So next time you need a pasta salad, you can unleash your creativity and easily build one from scratch. Enjoy!

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