Friday, May 22, 2009

Spinach Pasta Salad


It feels like summer here today, and when temperatures rise we tend to think about eating cooler foods. Grandma Cindy brought this fresh and flavorful pasta salad to Noah's 4th Birthday Party and even though we all liked the salad and ate our fair share of it, we found ourselves discussing how we could make it even better!

As refreshing as the pasta salad was, we couldn't help but think that something was missing, so we started brainstorming. What we decided was that this pasta salad needed some cheese! Not just any cheese - Gorgonzola Cheese. We figured this unique cheese was a perfect compliment to the grapes and cucumbers. Also, even though parsley was the original herb used in the dressing, to us, fresh snipped Basil sounded even better.

And since we experimented with this salad on the day it shared a plate with the Goat Cheese Burgers posted yesterday, we opted out of the chicken. Toasted walnuts or candied walnuts, we think, would be a perfect substitution for the chicken if you were vegetarian or just wanted a different flavor.

Whichever way you go, this Pasta Salad is a delightful addition to any summertime meal and the perfect dish to bring to a cookout.

Spinach Pasta Salad

Salad:

2 Cups Purple Grapes (halved)
2 Cups Packed Torn Spinach
12- 16 oz. Corkscrew Pasta (cooked)
One Cucumber (sliced and halved)
3 Green Onions (chopped)
6 Ounces Gorgonzola Cheese (crumbled)
5 Cups Cooked and Diced Chicken (3 breasts) Optional
One Cup of Toasted or Candied Walnuts (optional)

Dressing:

One Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Sugar
4 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
One Teaspoon Salt
One Teaspoon Dried Minced Onion Flakes
4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil (cut small)
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Mix in pint jar with a tight lid. Shake well before serving. Toss salad with dressing.

As always with a dish like this, it's best to toss everything the day before serving so the flavors have time to mix and mingle and create a NEW and unified flavor!


Coming Soon.... A Sensational Steak on the Grill With Raspberry Sauce

2 comments:

jenelle said...

Do the grapes make it soggy over time?

Kuckie said...

No, not at all! But being wet, cold pasta, it will get soggy after a few days. Not to worry, though...it won't last that long! :)

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