This Garden Basil Pasta Salad is from the fruits of my own labor! This year I embarked on the adventure of starting my own herb garden. And guess what, I finally used some of my stash.
I was excited to try out my green thumb skills. Gardening seems like the perfect hobby for a foodie. Who wouldn’t want to grow their own produce or herbs? It makes your meals feel so much more personal because you know in some small way you worked for it. I had this fear that I would never see the fruits of my “labor” because I’ve never been able to keep a house plant alive, let alone multiple outdoor ones! I read up on herbs and found that they are pretty forgiving for novice gardeners like me. Based on this fact, herbs seemed like the right place to start for gardening. There is also the fact that my backyard is pretty much non-existent so potted plants were really my only option.
I do have to admit that I did cheat a bit by buying started plants, so they had already sprouted and I just needed to replant into my pots and care for them. It is my first year so I was a little hesitant to be overambitious! Now that it has been a few months my herbs are doing great, maybe a little too great for someone who is usually only cooking for one of two! I have herbs coming out of my ears! So now I am working my mint, parsley, cilantro, lemon thyme, rosemary, Thai basil, and Italian basil into every meal I can! Sauces, salads, cocktails, stir fries, have all been spiced up with one herb or another. In this next recipe I incorporated my lovely, overabundant Italian basil into a tangy dressing to top a classic vegetable pasta salad. It gives the salad such a garden-fresh flavor.
Get your picnic baskets ready for a new salad favorite!
…all for the love of the dish
When eating things cold it is always better to over season because foods tend to lose some of their flavor when cold. If you do not plan on serving the pasta salad right away add a dash more vinegar or oil and mix right before serving to bring back some of the flavor and moisture.
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
- 2 cups basil
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (I used yellow for color)
- 1 cup sliced green beans
- 1/2 cup cannelloni beans
- 1/2 cup sliced olives
- Tools Needed: Blender or Food Processor
- Cook pasta according to box instructions.
- Put washed basil, red wine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper (to taste) in blender/food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds.
- Dice red pepper and green beans. Toss all the vegetables, beans, olives, and dressing with the warm pasta.
- Let salad fully cool. I let mine cool then put in the fridge for 1 hour.Now you’re ready to eat!