We had a block party recently and I wanted to bring a pasta salad. I was going to make my hearty pasta salad with Field Roast, but it was hot out and I decided I wanted something a bit lighter and fresher. I came up with a vegan pasta salad with a lemon vinaigrette and lots of fresh herbs. The salad was a big hit. It can be a Meatless Monday lunch or light dinner. The leftovers are fantastic.
The salad is a mix of cooked and raw components. I sauteed 4 squash in a hot cast iron skillet. The idea is to get the outside crisp without turning the squash to mush. You could also use a hot grill if you like.
For the herbs I used mint and parsley. Basil would also be delicious here, but unfortunately my basil had gone bad before I had time to use it. If you are like my sister, who hates anything mint related, you can leave out the mint.
Use shallots or sliced green onions if raw onions are too intense for you.
Any small pasta will work in this salad. I used some cute little gnochetti that I found at the store. I love how the little pockets in the pasta held onto the dressing.
- 4 small Squash (mix of zucchini and yellow squash)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup sliced green olives
- ¼ cup minced mint
- ½ cup minced Italian parsley
- 12 oz short pasta, cooked
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 TB white wine vinegar
- 1 TB lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp dijon
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Slice squash lengthwise. Add oil to a cast iron skillet or large pan over medium high heat. Place slices of squash into pan. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Flip squash over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan. Squash should be browned on both sides. Chop squash into a large dice.
- DRESSING: In a small pan heat ¼ cup of olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Do not brown, just warm, garlic. Add warmed garlic and oil to a large bowl. Add in white wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Stir together with a small whisk.
- In large bowl with the dressing add cooked squash, red onion, green olives, mint, parsley and cooked pasta. Toss with dressing. Start by adding half of the dressing, taste and add more as needed.