Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Picnic Food - Pasta Salad and Fruit Salad

With the Memorial Day weekend just behind us and summer ahead, thought I'd post some of my fave picnic food recipes....starting with this Pasta Salad and simple Fruit Salad I took to a picnic recently.

Here's how I made the Pasta Salad:

1 cup uncooked rotini pasta - cook per package directions
1 to 2 cups chopped veggies - onions, tomatoes, colored peppers, zucchini, mushrooms
Dressing - 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic - minced, 1 tsp black pepper pwd, 1 tsp fennel pwd
1 tsp chopped basil (fresh or dried)
2 tbsp prepared pesto (I used Trader Joe's)
2 tbsp Italian dressing (optional)
2 tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

Mix the ingredients for the olive oil dressing in a small bowl. Pour over the chopped veggies. Spread the veggies in a glass baking dish. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 20 mins. Sprinkle the chopped basil and stir the veggies around. Bake another 20 mins, stirring in between. As the veggies are roasting, cook the pasta. Drain and mix with the roasted veggies. Add the pesto, Italian dressing and parmesan cheese. Adjust salt/pepper as needed.

This pasta salad tastes good warm, at room temp or cold.

The Fruit Salad I took along is really simple. I used a dressing of 3 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp lemon juice, poured over fresh cut fruits I had on hand - strawberries, blueberries, oranges, apples, mangoes and watermelon.

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