August is the best month for spending time making salad. So much fresh produce to use, form ripe tomatoes to herbs, lettuce and hot radishes.
But what to do with all your gorgeously ripe vegetables? A solid pasta salad, that’s what.
Pasta salad is literally the answer to every summer mealtime question – what to eat for lunch at the office? Pasta salad. What to eat on a busy Saturday? Pasta salad. What to bring to your friend’s barbecue? You guessed it.
The best thing about it is that you can substitute it to suit your nutritional needs and preferences, and use whatever you happened to buy at the farmers’ market that week.
I suggest any of the following sturdier vegetables, which will be able to stand up to a salad dressing without going soggy:
- Fleshy, floury tomatoes (oblong-shaped)
- Harder herbs like mint and flat parsley, or dill
- Raw courgette/zucchini
- Sliced fennel
This salad was inspired by fresh, Greek salads, with lots of cucumber and mint. The olives and feta add a saltiness, and the hummus dressing brings it all together in a fresh summertime feast.
serves 4, or 5 as a side
for the salad:
- 125gr red lentil pasta (I like Napolina’s)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 firm tomatoes, like Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 bunch mint
- Feel free to use any other sturdy vegetable you find at the farmers’ market, such as raw courgette or sliced radish.
- 2 handfuls olives, mixed colour – if you can find these in bulk, great!
- 1/2 block feta cheese
for the dressing:
- 1/2 tub hummus, normal
- glug olive oil
- glug apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- black pepper
- Much of this recipe is eyeballing quantities to create a salad that suits your preferences. If you want a more ‘pasta heavy’ salad, use less vegetables, and vice versa.
- Start by bringing the pasta to a boil.
- Whilst the pasta cooks, dice all the vegetables in even sizes.
- Combine with very thinly sliced mint, diced feta and whole olives (you can chop them if you prefer)
- Drain and rinse your pasta with cool water, then add to your salad mix
- Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and stirring well
- Serve by combining half the dressing with the pasta, and romaine on the side. Drizzle with remaining dressing. If you’re saving it for later, keep the dressing in a separate container and dress before enjoying.