Rotini Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Cover recipe - The Family Flavor Cookbook, Rotini Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Cover recipe – The Family Flavor Cookbook, Rotini Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette, copyright 2013

The Family Flavor cookbook by Whitney Ingram is the newest cookbook on my shelf.  The cover of The Family Flavor showcases half a dozen great recipes from a beautiful cake to corn muffins to pulled pork sandwiches and more.  I was particularly drawn in by the recipe for Rotini Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette.

I’ll be honest – we don’t eat much pasta salad.  When I see a bowl of pasta salad at a party or deli, I pass it up for in favor of just about anything else.  I don’t like gloppy, mayo-based sauces and dressings.  I like pasta salad that is loaded with things other than just the pasta.  Most pasta salads I’ve had are bland.  I have high expectations, I suppose.  Perhaps it was unfair to choose to review a recipe for something I don’t normally eat and am picky about.  But I felt like it would be a good litmus test of sorts to introduce me to this cookbook.  If the pasta salad was good, then I also felt like the rest of the recipes would probably be good too.  From first glance at the recipe, this salad seemed to have a lot of promise.  Loads of veggies and other goodies and a red wine vinaigrette were included in the ingredient list.  Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.
rotini pasta salad with summer vegetables and red wine vinaigrette

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Rotini Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Yield: Yields 8 servings.

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Total Time: 45 min

A fresh pasta salad recipe loaded with summer vegetables and tossed with a flavorful red wine vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

1 pound rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 seedless cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
1 15 ounce can black olives, drained
½ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 4 ounce package crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

1. Cook pasta, drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain very well and pour pasta into a large bowl. Stir in cucumbers, red bell peppers, green onions, grape tomatoes and black olives. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk well. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil. Whisk in parsley. Pour vinaigrette over pasta and vegetables. Stir well. Fold in feta cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Tips:

*I made the recipe using gluten-free pasta and regular pasta. I recommend undercooking the pasta just a little bit because it does absorb the dressing. I always worry that gluten-free pasta will fall apart. I undercooked it and it turned out great.
*I think this salad can be easily prepared ahead of time. The leftovers keep well for several days in a tightly covered container.

Source: The Family Flavor Cookbook, Copyright 2013

The results

This is probably the best pasta salad I’ve ever had.  The ratio of pasta to “goodies,” as I call them was perfect.  Every bite had a vegetable or bit of feta.  The dressing is fantastic!  The lemon juice really adds a fresh note that I found very appealing.  I used both gluten-free pasta and regular pasta.  Both absorbed a bit of the flavorful vinaigrette, which I really liked.  It had the right amount of dressing.  When I first glanced at the recipe, it seemed like a lot of oil in the vinaigrette.  But it really was perfect.  I loved this salad!  My husband doesn’t usually like pasta salad either, but he loved this one. I saw him going back for seconds and thirds.  (I did too.)  It’s filling and is a great stand alone lunch or dinner main dish as well as a side dish.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

I do think this deserved the cover spotlight.  The title is The Family Flavor.  This salad had a lot of flavor going on and my family sure loved it.  I am anxious to try the other cover recipes and all of the recipes in the book.  I think this was a great introduction to this cookbook. I plan on making this my go-to pasta salad.

Lindsey Johnson writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia, and she works as a freelance recipe developer and photographer. She is the mother to three beautiful, fun children and resides in Utah. She became gluten-free in 2010 and has enjoyed the learning process that comes along with gluten-free baking and cooking. When she's not in the kitchen or behind the camera, she enjoys gardening, reading, being outside, and spending time with her husband and children.

3 Responses to “Rotini Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette”

  1. 1

    Ali @ Inspiralized — September 26, 2013 @ 10:18 am

    This is SO up my alley! Love love this! Photography makes me wanna bite right into it.

  2. 2

    Lindsey Johnson — September 26, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    Thanks, Ali! You will totally love it.

  3. 3

    Kylie - The How To Mom — September 26, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    Mmm! That does look good. And I don’t like pasta salads much either! I will have to try this. Pinning!

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