As of late, the heat and humidity in New York has been unbearable. I usually eat hot food for dinner, but over the past two weeks I’ve been making a lot of different side salads to avoid heating up my house with the oven on. This version of pasta salad uses fresh basil and lemon thyme from the garden, which is a complete game changer. You just don’t get the same punch of flavor from dried herbs as you do with fresh ones.
I used brown rice & quinoa gluten-free pasta because I like the added protein, but you can use any pasta you like. The combination of lemon juice and honey in the dressing gives this salad a sweet-tart kick that is really refreshing. This dish is a delicious accompaniment to any grilled meat, sausage & peppers, a burger, or just on its own.
FRESH HERB PASTA SALAD
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 lb. of any pasta you like (I used brown rice & quinoa pasta)
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
~20 grape tomatoes, sliced in to thirds
~15 pitted Sicilian green olives, sliced in to thirds
6 sprigs of lemon thyme, leaves removed & stems discarded
1 bunch of fresh basil, sliced (I used around 10 large leaves)
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. of honey
Salt & pepper to taste
WHAT TO DO:
- Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package, drain, and let cool.
2. While pasta is cooling, prepare the onions, olives, tomatoes, basil, and thyme. Don’t forget to discard the thyme stems!!!
3. In a separate bowl (or liquid measuring cup), whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, veggies, herbs, and dressing. Give it a good stir, and season with salt & pepper.
5. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate a few hours to overnight. Before eating, give the pasta salad a good stir. If the pasta soaked up too much dressing, add 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil before serving. Enjoy!