Santa Fe Pasta Salad

So the sun finally did me a HUGE favour and showed its fine self. Yes, we did wake up to 2 inches of fresh snow, but alas, it melted and now we are in blissful, warm, spring, sunshine.

Since it’s making me feel so summer-y, we are having a back-yard, BBQ, summer lovin’ type meal (in the warmth of our dining room). Enter Santa Fe Pasta Salad (Rebar cookbook, again!) accompanied by Shake ‘n Bake (classic) chicken. Yummers!

Here’s the recipe for the salad. In my opinion, it’s really worth the effort :)

Santa Fe Pasta Salad with roasted corn & avocado (dairy free variation)

DRESSING
2 red peppers, roasted
4 cloves garlic, roasted
2 tsp chipotle puree (can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, blended in the food processor)
1 shallot, peeled & chopped
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
3/4 c olive oil

SALAD
4 c dry pasta (of your preferred shape)
olive oil
3 c corn, frozen or fresh (I used frozen)
1 TBSP vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP minced sage
1 bunch scallions, chopped
4 oz candied salmon (I used avocado instead…as I didn’t have candied salmon)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 feta cheese, crumbled (this I omitted, to be dairy free)

Begin by preparing dressing. Seed and peel the roasted peppers. Place them, along with the garlic, shallots, and chopotle puree in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add maple syrup, vinegar, lime juice, salt and blend. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until well incorporated and thickened. Set aside.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and toss with olive oil. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss corn with oil and salt and evenly spread on a small baking pan. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Remove any small bones in the salmon and slice or crumble into bite size pieces.

To assemble the salad, toss pasta in a large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Add corn, salmon, sage, scallions, avocado (cubed), and toss well. Add more dressing to taste and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, garnish with cherry tomatoes and feta. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

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