The vinaigrette keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, and it’s delicious on a ton of different things: grilled veggies, sliced tomatoes, grilled chicken or fish, or green salads. Whenever I find I have extra herbs lying around from other recipes, I’ll whip a quick batch of this vinaigrette to use them up … and I’m always glad I did.
The pasta salad no-recipe recipe below is meat-free, but you can totally add some grilled chicken or cooked shrimp to it. However, this dish is pretty substantial on its own, so if you’ve been thinking about introducing Meatless Mondays to your brood of carnivores, this is a good recipe to start with. Up the fiber by using whole wheat or whole grain pasta, and toss in some rinsed canned beans to make a complete protein.
The ratio I use for a balanced mix of flavors and textures is: 2 cups cooked pasta, 2 cups veggies, 1 cup beans, and 1 cup cheese.
- 1 clove garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup leafy herbs (I usually use a combination of basil, parsley, mint, cilantro or dill)
- 3 tbs lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups cooked whote wheat pasta
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped roasted peppers
- 1 cup halved mozzarella balls
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
To make lemon-herb vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Toss together pasta salad ingredients and dress with 1/3 cup vinaigrette. Reserve remaining vinaigrette for another use.
This lemon herb vinaigrette recipe yields enough to double this salad if you’re feeding a crowd or bringing it to a picnic.
The pasta salad recipe is a classic Italian-inspired flavor combo, but don’t stop there. Check out these other ideas for inspiration:
- Mexican: black beans, corn, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, cilantro
- Greek: kalamata olives, feta cheese, roasted peppers, cannellini beans, tomatoes, dill
- Asian: broccoli, carrots, snow peas, celery, edamame, mint
Have fun playing around with different ingredients and let me know how it goes!