Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Salad

I'm typically not a fan of pasta. In fact, it's typically only a cold pasta salad {non-mayo based} or my aunt Lorie's Fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken that will tempt me. And occasionally a good old fashioned box of mac and cheese. I know, I'm weird.

But, with a large amount of fresh garden tomatoes and a limited recipe pool in the mass I refer to as my brain, I received an emailed newsletter with this recipe and make it I did.

Italian Basil, Tomato, and Pasta Salad


  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil*
  • 8 ounces dried pasta (such as rotini, bow ties, shells, cavatelli, or penne)
  • 2 9-ounce packages frozen cut green beans
  • 6 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives or ripe olives
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves*
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) finely shredded parm
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley


1. For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, and garlic. Gradually whisk in oil. Stir in the slivered basil. Set dressing aside.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook frozen beans according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

4. Toss one-third of the dressing with the cooked pasta; place pasta in the bottom of a very large salad bowl. Layer ingredients on top of the pasta in the following order: cooked green beans, tomatoes, and olives. Top with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with the basil leaves, the Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. To serve, toss lightly to combine. Makes 16 servings.

To Tote: Transport in an insulated cooler with ice packs.

For 8 Servings: Prepare using method above, except assemble salad in a large salad bowl.

*My Notes:

1. I wouldn't recommend using all the basil the recipe calls for. I only slivered 1/4 cup for the dressing and had probably 1/2 c. left after I did that. I tossed that in the salad and it was plenty. Anymore and it would have been overkill for my tastes

2. Skip the parsley. I don't think it added anything to the taste and just a little to the color.

3. Kalamata olives are strong in flavor. If you're not a fan, use half of what's called for. I wouldn't suggest leaving them out, though, as they add a TON of flavor to the salad.

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