Summer salads are easy to make in quantity, and great to have in the refrigerator. Case in point: we had a few salads along with grilled chicken last night. Tonight, they will serve as sides for fish. I tossed grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil with a little olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Crisp cooked broccoli was dressed with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a touch of olive oil, a little garlic, salt and pepper.
My standard macaroni salad involves a lot of vegetables, and a few simple store bought ingredients for the sauce. Marie’s Cole Slaw Dressing, apple cider vinegar, basil pesto, salt and pepper.
Proportions would depend on how much pasta you’re using as a base. Just toss warm pasta and whatever vegetables you have on hand with pesto. I opted for lightly cooked broccoli, radishes, red bell peppers, sweet onion, and celery, but artichoke hearts or fresh green beans or really anything would be fine. If you think about it, the pesto already has Parmesan cheese, nuts, and a little garlic ground into the mixture, so you’re starting with a flavor base.
Instead of mayonnaise, I use Marie’s Cole Slaw Dressing from the fresh produce section. For a bottled dressing, it has a really good list of ingredients. I find it a bit sweet on its own, but thinned with a good amount of apple cider vinegar, it’s perfect. Check to see if you want to add some salt and pepper.
If you plan to let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, keep some extra sauce to add just before serving.