Growing up, I hated pasta salad with a passion. I was not a big fan of mayonnaise, and my only concept of pasta salad was of the creamy, slightly sweet, macaroni variety (I’m sorry, but yuck).
These days, however, I’ve found a happy medium; a salad that’s crunchy, creamy, healthy, and insanely delicious, thanks to the addition of French Dijon dressing, herbs, and fresh vegetables.
What’s more, it can be put together in less than an hour, and lasts for up to a week in the fridge.
A week’s worth of lunch prep, sorted!
To make this beauty, you will need:
1 pound of pasta (I used Protein Plus farfalle, but whole wheat pasta works well, too)
Large handful chopped parsley
Large handful chopped spring onion
Half a large cucumber, diced into small cubes
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
Half an ear of corn, steamed, and kernels removed from stalk
French Dijon dressing (see recipe below)
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar with 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard*. Once combined, slowly drizzle in canola or vegetable oil (not olive oil), until the mixture comes together in a thickened dressing. Add salt and pepper, followed by a 1/2 teaspoon of finely-chopped garlic, and a tablespoon or two of pesto (we buy this one from Costco and it’s awesome!).
*Please, please, please make sure you use real Dijon mustard (like Maille), and not the crap that US marketers call Dijon (like the KRAFT-owned Grey Poupon). It truly makes all the difference, I promise!
Boil and drain the pasta, and add it to the bowl with the dressing. Chop all your veggies, and add them, too.
Once all the ingredients have been added, toss everything until it’s evenly dressed, and add salt + pepper as needed.
And you’re done! A simple and delicious lunch, made in under an hour, to be enjoyed on warm days with sparkling water and a side of sunshine.
For a more substantial dish, add cooked chicken or tuna, but be careful with this if you plan on bringing it to a picnic, where warm meat or fish can make folks sick if left in the sun too long.
I think it’s safe to say that my aversion to pasta salad has effectively been put to rest, and it’s all thanks to this recipe!
Bon appetit, mes amis!!