Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pasta Salads

We've hit that time of year when the combined heat and humidity produces "feel like" temperatures in the triple digits. As much as I love to cook, there are days when dishes that are cool, light, and refreshing are the order of the day. Enter pasta salads.

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing 
(Courtesy of The Recipe Critic)

While the ingredient list may appear long for some folks, don't be put off by it, especially as about half the items belong to the dressing. 

There were a couple of things I needed to adjust. I used green cabbage, instead of red because I couldn't find any at the market. The red would have really been a great addition to give the salad a pop of color. I also couldn't find chow mein noodles. Again, they would be a nice addition for added crunch.

That all being said, we loved this pasta salad. The sesame dressing was so good that I might just make a batch to have on hand for other salads.

(Courtesy of Epicurious)

So this is another recipe where substitutions were made, due to some ingredients being unavailable. For instance, I decided to go with linguine instead of rice noodles. Instead of green beans, broccoli joined the party. And instead of cherry tomatoes, I diced up a couple of regular ones.

In spite of the changes to the line-up, this was still a very tasty dish. The blanched broccoli added its lovely green color and a satisfying crunch.

And should we decide to change up the flavors a bit, I made some Italian dressing that can be drizzled over the salad. If you've never made your own, please give a go. It's easy and so much better than store bought. 

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