Most of the country has been sweltering this week. No, not my neck of the woods. Yes, I am bitter about it, thanks for asking. But, regardless of the less-than-stellar temperatures, I braved the great outdoors to celebrate to start off summer in true American style – with lots of cold salads.
Cold salads are really the best things ever. They include awesome components, like fresh fruits or vegetables, and some sort of wonderful oily fatty thing (mayo, olive oil, what have you). From my experiences living in the American Midwest and Southeast, I have seen the cold salad taken from limp lettuce and radish hearts to remarkable Jello-and-marshmallow creations that defy nature in their fluffiness and color scheme. Hell, some salads decide to skip over the produce entirely, focusing instead on cured deli meats (check out this pea and ham salad, for example).
But I wouldn’t let a deli meat salad be the focus of a vegetarian food post. No, no, this macaroni salad might as well be called “Everything but the Kitchen Sink and Any Meat” Salad. It’s got five types of veggies, Italian salad dressing, and lots of rotating rotini, which is truly the graceful ballerina of the pasta world.
So how’s it made? BAM (TM, Emeril):
1 box of rotini, cooked according to package directions
¾ can of artichoke hearts
¾ cup pitted olives
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup broccoli
½ red onion
1 cup Italian salad dressing (go with your favorite)
Chop the veggies up as fine as you’d like. I went for “pretty small” as the size of my pieces in hopes that they would stick to the nooks and crannies of the rotini. I let the onion chunks be a little larger, if only to make them easier to pick for those who cannot stand the taste. After the pasta is drained, throw everything together and mix with a moderate amount of vigor (vigorous enough to get everything nicely coated and tossed about, not so vigorous that you end up with a puree).
Stick a fork in it (and then take that fork to your mouth) – you’re done!
Tell me about YOUR pasta salad recipes and adventures.