Chances are you’ve been served a bland, boring pasta salad dish before. It’s probably been on the buffet at some sort of family reunion, along with a wiggly green gelatin mold and lukewarm burgers.
It’s a shame, because pasta is an incredibly versatile and easy ingredient to use, and it pairs so well with vegetables and fresh summer flavors.
I set out to create a pasta salad that has spark and won’t be the last lonely uneaten dish on the buffet table.
Since we are all short on time, I started with the Caesar flavor of Suddenly Pasta Salad, a fabulous Betty Crocker product that comes with tri-colored pasta and spices to get you off to a great start.
See, that's about all you really need for this great salad ... except maybe a fab idea for serving it to make everyone go, "Awwwww, cooool!"
Here's whatcha do:
First, get out that cool salad in a box and boil up the pasta.
Then mix the spices with water and vegetable oil.
And finally toss it all together.
You can stop there for a 10-minute pasta salad dish that will wow a crowd, or you can add veggies to bump up the vitamin factor.
For example, I created a Greek Pasta Salad dish by adding red bell pepper, cucumbers, feta cheese crumbles and a touch of Greek vinaigrette. If you have time to let the flavors meld overnight, you are way ahead of the game.
They (whoever “they” are) say that you eat with your eyes first, so instead of plopping your salad in a big ol' bowl (so predictable), serve it in individual portions in crystal clear glasses.
Whether you serve a bite-size portion in a shot glass for taste-testing, or a larger portion in taller glassware, the presentation is beautiful -- plus you’ve got instant portion control!
Garnish as you please – with sprig of green herbs, a colorful curl of bell pepper, or a simple appetizer fork balanced across the top of the glass.
Moral of the story? Stock up on Suddenly Salad and glasses -- and be prepared to be the talk of your summer barbecues!
Jackie Fo enjoys party planning, cooking, baking and wine! Visit Jackie’s blog for more ideas and also check out Jackie’s Tablespoon profile for more delish goodies.