Summertime means pasta salad to me. Its quick, easy and uses all the great vegetables you get from the garden or the farmers markets. The most important reason I love this dish is you only need to use one burner. No oven needed! Where I live that is very important on those 100+ degree days of summer.
Some of my favorites to pick up at the farmers market are spinach, fresh dill, celery, baby yellow crookneck squash and zucchini. I always have pasta, olives and pickles in the cabinet.
These are the ingredients I begin with:
1 box -16 oz pasta
1 can 6.5 oz sliced olives
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt- or to taste
1 tsp pepper-or to taste
2-3 stalks of celery- diced
2-3 large dill pickles-diced
2 tbsp fresh dill- chopped
small handful of carrots- these you can grate or chopped
Then I start adding any other vegetables I have that day:
1/4 lb of fresh spinach, chopped
1 medium zucchini -chopped
1-2 baby yellow crookneck squash-chopped
Boil the pasta, depending on what type you want to use -read the box on how long to boil it. I will usually cook it 1-2 minutes less than it says, but I like it firm but not crunchy. Cook the pasta how you like it best.
While the pasta is boiling, just start chopping and dumping in a big bowl. Chop-dump, chop-dump………..
About half way through chopping the pasta should be done- drain and let cool while you finish chopping.
When you are done chopping all the other ingredients, dump the cooled pasta into the bowl with everything else.
Add the mayonnaise and all the spices. If the pasta doesn’t look moist you can add either more mayo or a little pickle juice.
This dish works well if you are going to a BBQ. I just put the chopped veggies in a big, take a big bowl, put the wet ingredients and the spices in plastic bowl with a lid and put it all together when I get to the event.