It’s that time again, the Fourth of July weekend. Time for celebrating the many freedoms and privileges we’ve been afforded. Time for good food, tasty barbecues, fun times with friends and family, and plenty of fellowship whether it be around the picnic table or by the side of the pool. One of the staples at all of our Independence Day celebrations is pasta salad. And not necessarily the same pasta salad every year either.
I recently decided to lighten things up, you know from our typically ‘heartier’ pasta sides, for the warmer weather of Spring & Summer. This new spin on a timeless classic is packed with fresh, crisp veggies, tossed with a ginger dressing laced with Asian flavor, and then topped with a generous sprinkle of fresh, sliced green onions and lightly toasted sesame seeds.
So if you’re looking for something a little bit bold, a little bit different, but totally fresh, consider bringing this to the potluck table this weekend. It pairs perfectly with just about anything a cookout can throw at you.
Sesame Ginger Pasta Salad
1 tbsp sesame seeds
4″ piece of ginger root, peeled
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
16 oz farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked according to the package directions, drained
8 oz snow peas, blanched
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1. In a small skillet, over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, about two minutes or until they’ve turned a light brown. Set them aside.
2. Use a fine grater to grate the ginger into a fine sieve placed over a small bowl. Press out the liquid with the back of a spoon to get the juices out. Should yield about 1 1/2 tbsp worth of liquid. To the ginger juice, add the mustard, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Whisk all the ingredients together until the dressing is smooth.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked pasta, snow peas, diced pepper, chopped celery, and the dressing. Toss until everything is coated, and then put it in the refrigerator to chill. Serve cold, making sure to toss everything again right before hand.