When spring and summer roll around, I get even more enthusiastic about changing the ratio of vegetables to pasta.
There’s just so much good produce in season that I like to celebrate it by adding as much as I can to any dish that will take it.
Since noodles are pretty hearty, they can withstand the weight. Also, there’s really no such thing as including too many veggies.
This strawberry cucumber pasta salad takes things a step further by using fruit and vegetables.
It has this wonderful fresh flavor. Plus I love using a sweet ingredient in a savory dish. And berries are one of my favorite ways to do this.
When you have the right mix of ingredients, you can’t go wrong incorporating fruit into salad.
This is what you need for the pasta salad:
Farfalle: Shaped like a bowtie, this flatter pasta works well with the sliced cucumbers and halved strawberries.
Strawberries:All you have to do to prep the berries is to cut out their stems and slice them in half
Cucumbers: English cucumbers are narrower than standard cucumbers. They have fewer seeds, and their skin is more delicate.
Arugula: Even though it’s technically a salad green, when I throw in a handful of arugula to a dish, I treat it like fresh herbs because of its peppery bite.
Scallions: Sliced scallions add an oniony flavor.
Almonds: Chopped nuts give the pasta salad some much-needed crunch to go with the crisp cucumbers.
Blue Cheese: This pungent cheese really plays up the mix of savory and sweet ingredients. If you’re not a fan, you can use goat cheese or feta instead.
Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley further brightens the pasta salad.
Balsamic Vinaigrette: For the dressing, I make balsamic vinaigrette since it goes so well with strawberries and cucumbers, but I also add garlic, whole grain mustard and lemon juice. The vinaigrette has plenty of black pepper, too.
How To Make Strawberry Cucumber Pasta Salad
The only cooking you have to do for this recipe is the pasta. So I always start with that to get it out of the way.
The moment the pasta is cooked just to the point of being al dente, I pour it into a colander and give the noodles a good rinse in cold water. This prevents them from sticking together and stops the warm pasta from continuing to cook.
Then I put the farfalle into a large bowl and fold in the strawberries, cucumbers, arugula, scallions, almonds and blue cheese.
Next, I make the vinaigrette. I whisk together minced garlic, mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Finally, I stir the balsamic vinaigrette into the pasta salad.