I've always had a love-hate relationship with pasta salad: Done right, it's delicious (the gals in my family know how to make a pasta salad)! But every now-and-then you run into a goopy pasta salad that makes you sad about life and you swear off pasta salad for a month or two—has anyone else had that experience? I blame delis. Anyway! I wrote a big-ol' pasta salad post for the Good Housekeeping blog this week and it just popped up on the website. It's a mix-and-match recipe that let you customize your own modern (tasty!) pasta salad...maybe for this upcoming Labor Day weekend! Since you lovelies are the best, I'm going to share my favorite pasta salad recipe with you here: Farm Stand Pasta Salad, with zucchini, tomatoes and a lemon-dill dressing worth licking the bowl for—plus a few of the dressings I made for the story (below). Let me know if you make a DIY pasta salad—I'd love to know what you put in it...
1. RANCH-STYLE BUTTERMILK DRESSING: Whisk 1 (6-oz.) container 0% plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons snipped chives, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until combined. Makes about 1 cup
2. EASY BASIL PESTO: Pulse 2 cups packed basil leaves, 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until coarsely ground. With the motor running, slowly add 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil until combined. Makes about 1/2 cup
3. CARROT-GINGER DRESSING: Pulse 2 carrots, peeled and chopped; 1/2 shallot, roughly chopped; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger; 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar; 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until coarsely ground. With the motor running, slowly add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 2 to 3 tablespoons water until pureed and almost smooth. Makes about 1 cup
4. CREAMY LEMON-DILL DRESSING: Whisk 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined. Makes about 1 cup
5. SPICY TOMATO DRESSING: Pulse 10 oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained; 1/2 shallot, roughly chopped; 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar; 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until coarsely ground. With the motor running, slowly add 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 2 to 3 tablespoons water until pureed and almost smooth. Makes about 3/4 cup
FARM STAND PASTA SALAD
SERVES: 4 to 6
1 pound farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup Creamy Lemon-Dill Dressing (above)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded zucchini, unpeeled
1 cup butter beans or giant beans, drained and rinsed
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the farfalle and cook as the label directs.
2. Drain the pasta and toss with the Creamy Lemon-Dill Dressing, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and beans. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.