Quick n' Easy Summertime Pasta Salad

by Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

I only eat pasta salad in the summertime, so when when we finally got a blast of summer-like weather here in Vancouver, I decided to try my hand at a pasta salad. Green beans and peas are popping up locally, but because I had a stash of frozen peas in the freezer, I used those instead. At my local market, I found some beautiful young green beans. These can quickly become overcooked, so make sure to keep an eye on things so they stay bright and crisp. For this salad, I decided to give the red onion a quick bath in the boiling water to blanch it a little bit. It's not something I normally do, but it worked nicely here so that no one got a huge bite of raw onion.

This salad is quick to prepare and really refreshing. The pasta and the bright green vegetables have a nice bite and adding a good hit of tarragon to the dressing gives this dish a unique flavour. I like that this dressing uses sour cream instead of mayo which gives this salad a nice tang. If you wanted to save a few calories, try using a low-fat greek yogurt instead. This recipe makes 2 large bowlfuls, but can easily be doubled if taking to a picnic or barbeque.

Green Bean Pasta Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing
250 g short pasta (like bowties)
2 large handfuls of green beans, trimmed and sliced into thirds
1/4 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons red onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 scant teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
juice of 1/2 large lemon & zest
salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is 3 minutes to being al dente, add in the green beans. Three minutes later, give the frozen peas and the red onion a quick dunk in the boiling water and then drain well, rinsing with cold cold water. If you are using fresh peas, don't cook them, but add them instead to the rinsed pasta salad.

Meanwhile, mix up the dressing in a small jar. Pour as much as you need over the salad (you may have some dressing left over) and sprinkle with a bit of crumbled feta cheese, giving everything a toss. Serves 2.

Jan Halvarson


Catherine Marche said...

I just made butterfly pasta yesterday.
My version is with cherry tomatoes cut in halves, basil and sage leaves, a dash of olive oil and goat cheese. Sprinkled with rock sat and fresh grounded pepper.

Unknown said...

That looks so good. Thank you for sharing this delightful recipe.
-Rug Cleaning

Lady Grey said...

this looks fantastic. The green beans are a really nice touch : )

neecole said...

i just want to say that i have been following your blog for a while now, and i love every entry, but the best posts are the ones in which you put up recipes of meals you have made! even better is how you post a picture along with the meal you just made, so one can get an idea of how it is supposed to look when it is finished :) you should maybe even have a separate cooking blog! thanks again for the post, i will surely be making this one! xo nicole

Unknown said...

yummm! this sounds like the perfect summer pasta! i've never heard of blanching a red onion - that's a good idea! i'm thinking i may need to add some tarragon to my herb garden now..

Deoma's Boutique said...

I love pasta salads and this recipe sounds delicious! I can't wait to try it!

Amie said...

this looks delicious!!

cheeky rose said...

Pasta is so easy to cook and dress up, love the ingredients in you pasta dish

Tim Vidra said...

That just looks easy peasy!

Jan Halvarson said...

neecole - thanks - and Jeannette who writes this post does have her own food blog called http://everybodylikessandwiches.com/ - filled with lots of yummy treats!

Pinecone Camp said...

Sweet mother of God that looks good. I'm now very hungry!

Joanne said...

I enjoy pasta all year round but especially in the dark winter months when I crave carbs more. However, I do associate pasta salads with Summer and this pasta dish sounds perfect for a picnic in the park. The sour cream dressing sounds perfect too!

Unknown said...

green beans, peas and tarragon, YUM! I like the tip on using greek yogurt too.

OPatterson Photography said...

We made this and it's great! We have tarragon from a CSA, and doubled the amount to help us get thru some, with no ill effect. Thanks for sharing.

Large Oversized Rugs said...

Delicious! Keep up the great work!

adrian said...

I just love pasta, I have to try recipe you shared with us, I think I9ll do it today :) Thank you!

Large Rugs said...

AMAZING!!!!!! Looks so tasty, thanks for sharing!