Woo hoo!!! The heat has arrived in Northern Illinois, bringing with it the craving for cold pasta salads!
There’s nothing quite like a crisp cool salad to dig into at your backyard barbecue when the thermometer soars. Pasta salads are not only quick and easy to make ~ they can be prepped in advance, allowing you more time to join the esprit de corps of your guests.
Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad can be easily adapted to your taste with whatever flavors you favor. Start with wagon wheel pasta and add colorful veggies of your liking, combining it all in a honey, poppy seed and Dijon mustard dressing for the finishing touch.
This versatile salad recipe was published in our local newspaper, The Northwest Herald, recently. I made a vegetarian version of it using shrimp; however, it is really delicious using cut-up chicken, as in rotisserie chicken ~ or you could try it with ham. The recipe also includes one diced apple and one cup grape halves and toasted slivered almonds which I omitted, catering to individual tastes.
If you like colorful chilly pasta salads in the heat of summer, I guarantee you’ll be wild about this one! It’s a perfect pasta salad for your guests to relish!
Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad
1 pound wagon wheel pasta
1 pound medium shrimp, (30-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
1 red yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
1 orange bell pepper, cored and diced
1 cup snow pea pods, sliced into thirds
4 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Zest of ½ orange
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
To a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook until al dente.
Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, drain well and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, bell peppers, snow peas and scallions.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, mustard, orange zest, poppy seeds and salt and pepper.
When the pasta has cooled, add it to the bowl with the veggies and shrimp, then toss to combine.
Add the dressing and stir to coat.
Chill for 1-2 hours and serve.
Makes 12 servings
ENJOY!!! It’s delicious!!!
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes. She’s having a Double Giveaway now!