Keep your cool with summer-fresh meals guaranteed to make weeknight cooking a breeze.
With the availability of all the local fresh produce, this is a good salad recipe that covers all the bases.
Cook the pasta al dente (1 to 2 minutes shorter than the package directions specify) so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette.
Ripe for riffs, the salad is also delicious with chesse-filled tortellini. I’d add a little thinly sliced red onion with the tomatoes.
Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad
2 cups halved baby tomatoes
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup diced firm, ripe fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 8 oz. package penne pasta*
2 cups shredded smoked chicken (about 10 oz.)
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1. Toss together first seven ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with basil and cilantro.
* 1 (20 oz.) package refrigerated cheese-filled torellini may be substituted.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Process 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper.
Makes about 1 cup.
Dressing clings better to dry leaves of lettuce. If you’re making salad for company, wash and spin your greens in the morning. Then wrap them in paper towels, store in a zip-top plastic bag and chill until ready to use.
Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 20 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.