Cold Pesto Salad

This Cold Pesto Salad is sure to please young and young at heart at all your summer gatherings!

I’m starting to have quite the abundance of fresh basil growing outside in my little garden!  Makes me so happy because I can put it to good use in delicious recipes!  I love adding it to my Greek salads, but now I especially love using it in the cold pesto salad!  Nothing beats a pasta salad with pesto on a hot summer day.  This recipes is also a crowd pleaser. I brought it to a birthday party and there was hardly any left!

pesto salad 2

Cold Pesto Salad Ingredients 

  • 12 oz package of Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 Cup basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 Cup fresh Parmesan, grated + extra as garnish
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil

pesto salad

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 10-12 minutes on a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the fresh basil leaves, garlic, 1/3 cup of fresh Parmesan and olive oil in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Remove the pasta from heat and drain. Rinse the pasta under cold water and let it cool a few minutes.
  4. Combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes and fresh pesto. Mix well.
  5. Place in the fridge 1-2 hours to cool then serve.
  6. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan.

*Makes 4-5 servings.

Doesn’t it look delicious?  Try it out for your next BBQ or picnic!

This Cold Pesto Salad is sure to please young and young at heart at all your summer gatherings!

Cold Pesto Salad
This Cold Pesto Salad is sure to please young and young at heart at all your summer gatherings!
Servings: 4 -5
Ingredients
  • 12 oz package of Farfalle bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes washed and halved
  • 1 C. basil leaves
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic
  • 1/3 C. fresh parmesan grated + extra as garnish
  • 1/3 C. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 10-12 minutes on a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the fresh basil leaves, garlic, 1/3 cup of fresh Parmesan and olive oil in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Remove the pasta from heat and drain. Rinse the pasta under cold water and let it cool a few minutes.
  4. Combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes and fresh pesto. Mix well.
  5. Place in the fridge 1-2 hours to cool then serve.
  6. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan.

 

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

I recently made this salad dressing for an event we had to attend and it was amazing!  It went over really well with everyone!  This is a perfect recipe for winter since pomegranates are currently in season.

Here are a few quick facts about pomegranates:

  • Pomegranates are one of the healthier foods you can eat.
  • High in antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Pomegranates pack a nutritional punch that most foods can’t come close to!

This is the technique I use for removing pomegranate seeds (arils).  Works really well.

I sure hope you enjoy this Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette as much as we do!

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • pinch Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
Instructions
  1. Bring pomegranate juice to a boil over medium.
  2. Boil 15 minutes until reduced to about 1/3 cup.
  3. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk in remaining ingredients and set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool, pour over a salad with lettuce, pomegranate seeds, feta, bacon, tomatoes and what ever else strikes your fancy!

 

Easy Recipe: Salad in a Jar

salad in a jar

One of my favourite ways to ensure we get a decent lunch with veggies and protein is to make up a week’s worth of Salad in a Jar!  When these layered salads are layered correctly, you can enjoy fresh, crisp salad all week long!

Because these are made in a jar with a lid, all you have to do is give the jar a shake to distribute the dressing, then enjoy with a fork!

Salads in a Jar are great for:

  • Picnics
  • Quick at home lunches
  • School lunches
  • Work lunches

These salads are highly customizable, so usually I end up using what I already have on hand. I like to use a combination of fresh vegetables, fruit (I only add fruit if they “go” with the other ingredients I’m using), beans, nuts, seeds cheese and of course, lettuce and dressing.  Cooked chicken, diced ham, grains and even lentils would be a nice addition!  Just add what would make you happiest!  I would probably avoid using ingredients that emit a strong odour such as eggs, stinky cheeses, or raw onions.  (You could bring them along in a separate container if you must have them.)  If you’re looking for a tasty homemade salad dressing, I recommend this DIY Ranch Mix!

Here are a some tips for creating a week’s worth of salads that will last:

  • Be sure to use a clean wide-mouth jar that is 100% dry.
  • Always put the dressing at the very bottom of the jar.
  • Keep the lettuce wilt-free by adding it at the very end to avoid coming in contact with the dressing.

Here’s how you make Salad in a Jar:

Salad in a Jar
Ingredients
  • Salad dressing use your favorite!
  • Fresh Vegetables radishes, carrots, peas, cucumber, red/green pepper, celery...
  • Fresh fruit blueberries, mango, grapes, raspberries...
  • Beans legumes
  • Grains quinoa, rice, barley
  • Cheese
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Lettuce
Instructions
  1. Start with your dressing of choice and put about 2 tablespoons in the bottom of your jar.
  2. Next, throw in any cheeses you may want.
  3. Now it's time to add whatever combination of vegetables and/or fruit you like.
  4. If you're wanting to add beans, grains or nuts/seeds, now is the time to do that.
  5. Top off your salad by filling the rest of the jar up with your greens.
  6. Put on the lids and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat!
  7. When ready, shake your salad up and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Lasts up to 5 days in the fridge!

How do you enjoy a quick lunch?  What are your favourite portable meals?

Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing Recipe

raspberry poppyseed dressing recipe

I’m sharing my absolute favourite summer salad dressing today!  Raspberry poppyseed dressing! It’s perfect for spinach and berry salads, but I also enjoy it on romaine and green leaf lettuce.

This recipe is also a great way to make use of the raspberry vinegar I showed you how to make yesterday. 🙂

Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients, except poppy seeds, into a blender.
  2. Blend until everything is incorporated well.
  3. Add poppy seeds.
  4. Blend again for a few seconds.
  5. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.
  6. Shake well before each use.

What’s your favourite kind of summer salad?