This is a salad I’ve been making for many years, and it remains a solid favorite with my family. It’s never exactly the same each time I make it, because it depends on what fresh veggies are available when I’m putting it together. Dress it with a simple vinaigrette, but you can easily use your favorite bottled vinaigrette as well. Just give the salad a couple of hours to get cold before serving.
Pasta and Raw Vegetable Salad
Prep time: 45 minutes, plus at least two hours to refrigerate
- One box of campanile (bell-shaped) pasta, or you can use rotini or farfalle
- One seedless cucumber, skin on, cubed into half-inch pieces
- Two medium tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow peppers
- 1/4 cup coarsely-chopped parsley
- 6 scallions, chopped in small pieces
- One carrot peeled and chopped into small cubes, parboiled until soft, about 8 minutes
- 3/4 cup of broccoli florets, blanched in boiling water for two minutes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- You can also add baby cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, celery, radishes, or almost any raw vegetable you have in the fridge – but not cabbage or kohlrabi, because their flavors will overwhelm the pasta.
- Boil campanile for ten minutes, then rinse in ice bath, drain, and set aside.
- Cook carrots and broccoli, rinse with cold water, drain, and add into pasta.
- Chop other vegetables and mix into pasta.
- Pour half the vinaigrette dressing over the pasta and vegetables and mix thoroughly, then place in refrigerator for several hours.
- Before serving, mix salad so that oil is evenly distributed throughout the pasta and add in more vinaigrette if it seems dry.
- Mix well and adjust the salt and pepper.
Simple Vinaigrette Dressing:
Prep time: fifteen minutes
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon French brown mustard
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Squirt of lemon juice
- Whisk ingredients together until they are emulsified.
- Pour over pasta salad, reserving some to add in before serving, if needed.
- It’s nice for a little bit of the dressing to be absorbed by the pasta while it’s refrigerating – just don’t overdo it or the salad will feel greasy.