No pasta summer “pasta” salad


Summer is practically here and that means picnics, barbecues, and finding meals you feel like eating when it’s hot and sticky outside. Here is an awesome veggie “pasta” salad that Leigh and I put together the other night while grilling some burgers. We ate it straight away, but the leftovers tasted even more amazing the next day. Perfect for a make-ahead pot luck dish for your next get-together!

If you’ve never blanched veggies before, you will learn today! It’s a great technique to have in your little chef tool kit.  I love how it takes the edge off of raw veggies while still maintaining a slight crunch plus it helps seal in color, flavor and nutrients!

Salad Ingredients

2 packages broccoli slaw
carrots, diced
peppers, diced
broccoli, cut into small florets
cauliflower, cut into small florets
sea salt
nitrate free pepperoni
your favorite cheese, cubed small (optional)
olive oil
spices for vinaigrette (see below)

Blanching Process

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil over high heat.
  2. Prepare a large bowl and nested colander with ice water.
  3. Add a Tbsp or 2 of sea salt to boiling water.
  4. In small batches, put veggies in boiling water–keeping like veggies together.
  5. Let boil for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Remove veggies from boiling water with slotted spoon and place immediately in ice bath.
  7. Once cooled, remove veggies from ice bath (this is where the nested colander comes in handy!) and place on a towel lined pan to dry.
  8. I found it easiest to blanch the broccoli slaw last so I could pour the boiling water through a colander entirely. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to get every piece of slaw out with a slotted spoon!
  9. Let veggies dry on towel, use in salad or store in fridge for later use.

Salad Prep

  1. Prepare vinaigrette: 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp italian herbs, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp pepper,  1 tsp raw honey (optional).
  2. Toss with blanched veggies.
  3. Add pepperoni and cheese.
  4. Serve OR store for later use.

This summer I plan to keep a large stock of blanched veggies in the fridge along with pre-made vinaigrette so I can whip up a quick no pasta “pasta” salad for sides and snacks. Get creative with it too…use the broccoli slaw as your base and add your personal favorite veggies. Make it Greek with feta and olives. Make it Asian by adding cabbage and a sesame/rice vinegar dressing. Lots of possibilities!



5 comments on “No pasta summer “pasta” salad”

  1. Paleo definitely takes thought and prep and these days those two concepts are a struggle for me! Thanks to you and Leigh for doing the leg work and having delicious options at the ready for those of us still dealing with “mommy brain”!


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