Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Versatile Veggie Rotini salad

I felt a little guilty after posting those super indulgent cookies yesterday, so today I shall make up for my naughtiness with a yummy, veggie-filled pasta salad.
This is another one of those "couldn't be easier if it was just boiling water" kind of recipes, but that's what makes it great.  As usual, I took a regular pasta salad recipe & changed things up a bit.  You know me- I don't like a lot of fatty dressing or greasy meats, so those have been replaced, but the flavor is still there.
And isn't it pretty to look at?

Veggie Rotini Salad

1 package tri-color rotini  
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
3 medium carrots diced
Marinated artichoke hearts w/liquid
1/2 C Italian dressing (you know what I'm going to say here, right? No HFCS, either make it yourself because it's SO easy, or buy the kind with ingredients you can understand. Please, just do me this solid.)

Boil pasta till al dente (if you overcook your noodles your salad will be a mushy disaster, especially if you plan on making this ahead of time, so try not to.)
Meanwhile, steam your veggies. (I really recommend a steamer basket because veggies should be cooked similar to pasta- al dente. They'll taste better as well as retaining their beautiful color & their nutrients.) 
Drain pasta & veggies.
Mix together in large bowl. 
Add dressing & marinated artichoke hearts-including liquid
Combine & serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

This is probably the easiest dish you can make for a picnic, party or potluck and is always a crowd pleaser. The veggies are easy to switch up, too. You could do tomato, onion & zucchini or olive, bell pepper & cauliflower. Or add chickpeas or cannelini beans to make it a complete meal. It's really up to your personal taste. That's what makes dishes like this great:  
You can make it yours!  


  1. We do ours with four different colored bell peppers (green, orange, red, and yellow), scallions, large black olives, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chick peas, and goat cheese. Sometimes sun-dried tomatoes, too. I like a lot of different colors :)

  2. Yum! I like to do feta sometimes. Jude is very anti-bell pepper, even the yummy orange ones. Weirdo.

  3. Haha, bell pepper blasphemy!!! This looks really good...I'll be trying this. I wonder if black beans would be good in it, maybe a'la southwestern flavors? Maybe add some corn? There are so many different options!...and really, what kid doesn't love pasta?! Thanks for posting :)

  4. Autumn, you could make your own cumin dressing a'la the old El Charo and do a little tex-mex salad, maybe? Everything is better with cumin!

  5. Oh my dear.
    That looks amazing.
    We use tri-color rotini, when we buy it in bulk from our co-op. Mmmm:)
    Oh, and feta is really good! We use it with steamed asparagus quite a bit.


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