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Vegetable Pasta Salad

A great do-ahead recipe as the salad tastes better the next day after the flavors blend.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (cut in very thin strips)
  • 4 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta such as rotini, bow ties, shells, or penne
  • 2 cups fresh vegetables; green peppers, summer squash, cucumbers, broccoli florets (chopped)
  • 3 medium tomatoes (cut in thin wedges)
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (loosely packed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together; red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard.
  2. Whisk in olive oil gradually. Stir in basil and set aside.
  3. Cook pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in large bowl and toss with 1/3 of the dressing.
  4. Layer ingredients on top of the pasta in the following order: vegetables, tomatoes, and olives. Top with remaining dressing.
  5. Sprinkle fresh basil leaves and parsley on top. Cover and chill 4-24 hours.
  6. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and toss lightly before serving.

Variation: Use a small pasta or orzo. Omit the cheese and olives. Add 2 cups chickpeas along with the herbs.

Recipe Source: Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-West