Me: So what do you need me to bring for Father’s Day Dinner?
Mom: Whatever you want.
Me: Cool! I’ll bring dark chocolate brownies and a pasta salad.
Pasta salad? Did I really just say that?
I have never been a big fan of pasta salad – or “macaroni salad,” as it’s known in this part of the state. When I think of macaroni salad, I think of macaroni noodles swimming in a vat of luke warm mayo. Real appealing, huh? I blame the old ladies at our church and their countless dinner-on-the-grounds growing up. Room temperature mayo is not good, not good at all.
But apparently, I’ve been harboring some secret craving for pasta salad – how else does something like that just happen? So I found a recipe that sounded really tasty (anything that incorporates fruit into a savory dish always scores points with me) and did my best to mostly de-mayo it. Don’t get me wrong – mayo is my condiment of choice, right after Tobasco. But the idea of eating it by the spoonful… blech.
I incorporated as much fresh produce as I could into the salad – the red and orange bell peppers gave the salad a nice crunch and the grapes lent a refreshing sweetness to the dish that complimented the tart dressing. The contrasting textures seemed to delight even the picky eaters!
This was the first time I’ve ever used dill. Apparently there’s more to the herb than just sour pickles! Who knew? The delicate flavor of the dill weed added an extra oomph to the dressing – I almost didn’t buy it but I wanted to try out something new for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Astrid at Paulchen’s Food Blog.
Creamy Pasta Salad with Grapes
A creamy pasta salad loaded with crispy peppers and sweet grapes.
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp creole mustard
- 3/4 tsp fresh dill, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp sugar, (optional, to taste)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 12 oz farfalle, cooked, rinsed in cold water, and drained
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked, cooled and cubed
- 2 1/2 cups red grapes, halved
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup orange bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- Whisk together mayo, sour cream, vinegar, mustard, dill, garlic and sugar (if using) in a small bowl.
- Taste for seasoning and sweetness and adjust sugar, salt, and pepper if necessary.
- In a large bowl, assemble the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss well.
- Refrigerate and serve cold.
Yields: 6 servings
Estimated time: 20 minutes
And most importantly, for dessert:
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes