Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yummy combination with pasta salad

Facebook can make me hungry.
Sometimes it’s my friends who are posting photos of recipes they’ve tried or menus from their evening meals. Other times it’s food sites sharing images of cakes and breads and main dishes. Either way, I often take their ideas and recipes and try them myself.
A few weeks ago, several Facebook friends posted a photo of Southern Living’s broccoli, grape and pasta salad. 
The photo caught my eye. For starters, I love pasta salads and make them often, especially in warmer months, for  easy weekday lunches. I was also intrigued with the idea of putting red grapes (one of my very favorite foods) in a recipe that also had pecans, broccoli and bow tie pasta.
Could it possibly be good? I had to know.
I posted the recipe to my page so I wouldn’t lose it and read some of the reviews from the Southern Living web page. It had an excellent rating and many positive reviews, so I purchased the ingredients and made it.
I made very few changes to this recipe. I omitted red onion because I’m not a fan and used Oscar Mayer’s Real Bacon Bits instead of cooking bacon. I also made only a half recipe of the dressing, based on reviews I read.
I loved this salad. So did my husband. The different textures with nuts, fruit and vegetables made a pleasing combination.
This salad would make a pretty presentation for a luncheon or other special occasion.
We enjoyed it for lunch for two days, but it doesn’t last long in the refrigerator before it no longer tastes fresh. The next time I make this, I’ll probably make just half a recipe because it makes a lot for two people to share.
lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

Broccoli, grape and pasta salad
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise 
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved 
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.
Southern Living
 I omitted the red onion, used Real Bacon Bits and made only half a recipe of the dressing. If you don’t plan to eat the salad at one meal, only add the pecans and bacon to what you will be serving.

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