In the summer, I eat a lot of salads. First, they’re cold and since lately I’m on the verge of overheating, I only want things I can pull out of the fridge and put on a plate – no additional heat required. Second, I go to a lot of cookouts and backyard gatherings and salads are an inexpensive and easy thing to throw together so I don’t arrive empty-handed.
So here’s one that I made on July 4 for a lovely little get-together on a Mt. Adams balcony. This pasta salad is refreshing and practically brainless to assemble – just the right combination when it’s too hot to think outside.
First, your ingredients: Tri-color pasta in a shape of your choice (I usually go with rotini, but I liked these radiatori from Trader Joe’s, so I mixed it up a little), Italian salad dressing (I make the Good Seasons packets), a green bell pepper, a cucumber, tomatoes and Salad Supreme – the magic spice that makes it all come together.
Now, some people add cheese or olives or other veggies to their pasta salad, and while that’s fine and good, I really feel like this combo is the best. Cool and crisp – no cheese that gets soggy, no broccoli that’s hard to finagle into your mouth. Most people I talk with tend to agree. I think the simplicty is the selling point.
So…first! Put a pot of water on to boil, and when it gets going add the pasta.
Then start chopping up the vegs. I used half an English cucumber, peeled and sliced, then quartered the slices. I used a little more than a half green bell pepper because the one I got was pretty big. I just gave those a rough chop. When it came to the tomatoes, I chose cherry ones that I quartered. Be sure to use a serrated knife when going after the tomatoes. It makes things so much easier!
When the pasta is done cooking, drain and put it in your biggest mixing bowl.
Let it cool for a bit and then add the vegs.
How fresh is that? Mmmm. Pour on about a cup of dressing. You can always add more if you feel like it needs it, but starting with less is the way to go.
Now…magic. Give everything a generous coating of Salad Supreme.
Then stir and stir and stir.
Sprinkle more Salad Supreme. Stir stir stir.
When you’re happy with what you taste, cover it and let it get nice and cold in the fridge for a couple hours – at the very least two.
When it’s party time, pull it out, place it in a lovely serving dish and serve to your friends and loved ones. They’ll love how simply refreshing it is!
I’ll be posting again soon with another summer salad that will bring your internal temp down a couple precious degrees. Look in the above pic for a hint!