This is not your regular pasta salad. In fact, Jack (who is not the biggest fan of pasta salads) said “holy crap, this pasta salad is SO good!” It’s of course heavy on the veggies – it’s packed with broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and other good things. Unlike a lot of pasta salads, it’s light on the mayonnaise – in that it has none. With Memorial Day coming up, I figure you may need a packable pot luck salad that won’t spoil if it sits out for awhile. This one, made with creamy tahini, is just right for that.
The key to healthy pasta salad is to go with a high ratio of veggies to pasta. Blanched broccoli, crunchy green beans, and thinly sliced (or spiralized) zucchini add tons of texture and flavor here. The dressing is made with lemon, tahini, olive oil and a bit of dijon mustard. It’s creamy, tangy, and well, lemon-y – just the way I like things to be.
I used gluten free fusilli so this salad is entirely vegan and gluten free. I find that everyone has some sort of dietary restriction these days (raising my hand just a little) so it’s just easier to bring something delicious everyone can enjoy.
Or you just can do what I did – make a big batch of this and eat it for lunch a few days in a row.
- 3 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 cup cut green beans
- 2 cups uncooked gluten free fusilli pasta
- 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced and cut into half moons (or spiralized)
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, mustard, maple syrup, salt and water. Set aside.
- Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water and a large bowl of ice water. Drop the broccoli and green beans into the boiling water and blanch for 1-2 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Remove and immediately immerse in the ice water to stop the cooking processing. Keep in the ice water long enough to cool completely, about 15 seconds. Drain and and place on a kitchen towel to dry.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, basil and the pasta. Drizzle with the dressing and toss. Season to taste. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and chill for 15 minutes. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.