Lately its easy to get lost in the various potato and coleslaw salads that are grazing many a BBQ spread, I wanted to share a fresher take on this well-loved dish...
Bow Tie Pasta Salad, I add a few different items than the norm but it offers a tasty take on a staple of summer, that can be made alone or with a side, either way you're sure to enjoy...
What You'll Need:
1 box of bow tie pasta
1 small (8 FL OZ) bottle of robust italian dressing (We prefer Wishbone Brand, which is gluten free)
2 cups of raw washed baby spinach leaves (I used the pre-washed bagged kind)
1 cup of heirloom cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh sweet basil leaves
1 cup of feta cheese crumbles
fresh crack black pepper to taste
What You'll Do:
Boil your pasta till al dente, usually the box will have instructions on how long to boil but i usually do about 10 minutes. After the pasta is done rinse it in cool water and let cool while you chop your veggies and herbs up. Chiffonade (if you need help on that, there is a great how to, here) the baby spinach leaves, and sweet basil and add to the cooled pasta. Cut your tomatoes in halves (or quarters depending on size, you want them all relatively the same size) and add to the cooled pasta. While tossing the salad add your small bottle of robusto Italian dressing (if you're not a big fan of Italian dressing you can use a balsamic vinaigrette instead and sub the feta for mozzarella balls instead). Pepper the salad to taste, no extra salt is needed in this dish. Refrigerate till served, about a minute before its served mix in your cup of fresh feta crumbles. Its important to wait to do this last step because you want the feta to retain its crumbly texture and not soak up all the juices from the dressing and/or melt from residual warmth of salad.
My friend is doing a GF diet to help with stomach problems, this salad is just as good without pasta and is a great GF alternative to most gluten rich BBQ sides. Just double the tomato and spinach amounts and use only 1/2 the amount of dressing. Chicken or fish can also be added to the GF version as well.