Everyday Mom's Meals: May 2023

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Just In Time For Your First Summer Cookout

May has arrived bringing Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Graduation Season (yep, in only 3 weeks my first baby will walk across that stage and get his diploma) and of course, cookout/backyard barbecue season.  

Have you fired up the grill for the first time? Do you have plans for your first cookout, or maybe you've already been invited to one? Memorial Day is seen as the kickoff to summer, and it will be here before you know it. 

This recipe is sure to become your new go-to for a cookout take-along that everyone wants the recipe for. If you're hosting the gathering, you better really like every single person you invite, because after a plate of this, they are going to want to come back over and over. 

Mediterranean Pasta Salad is terrific for all your summer parties, picnics and outdoor suppers. It has to be made ahead to soak up all the flavor of the dressing, so you can assemble it totally last minute. It has some unique flavors you might have never though of for pasta salad, but I promise you will be blown away how well they play together. 

I am so excited for warm weather and all the fun outdoor activities that go with it. Pasta salad is always a hit no matter when or how you serve it, so I hope this one makes its way to your menu soon!

Why Add Dressing To Warm Pasta

When you mix the warm pasta with the Italian dressing, it acts like a sponge to soak up all that flavor. The longer it sits, the better the flavor. 

Do I Rinse The Pasta

No! Many pasta salad recipes call for rinsing under cold water and draining. Not this one! Simply drain and then leave warm. 

What Kind Of Veggies To Use

This recipe is great because the possibilities are endless when it comes to the vegetables to use. You could give it more of an Italian twist with black olives, red onion and cheese!

Where To Find Canned Artichokes and Hearts Of Palm

Both of these are normally on the canned vegetable aisle. In my store they are usually near the end of the selection, right next to each other. 

What Are Hearts Of Palm

If you've never had them, hearts of palm are a literally the inside of a palm tree. They have a slightly sweet, mild flavor. When canned, they are in a brine that is best rinsed off. They can be added to salads or eaten as is. My Hearts of Palm Salad is a delicious way to include them in your menu.

How To Store Leftover Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad will last 2-3 days in the fridge in a container with a tight fitting lid. You will want to stir every time you serve.

Best Tips

*Do not rinse pasta before adding dressing. You want the warm pasta to soak all the flavor up.

*Regular Italian dressing works fine too. I like the extra "zip" of the zesty.

*Sun-dried tomatoes can be found with the olives and pickles or on the canned tomato aisle.

*Any short-cut pasta would work: elbows, shells, rotini, etc.

 *Swap out the veggies for any you like. Some suggestions: Red onion, black olives, cherry tomatoes, green onions, sweet cherry peppers, red bell pepper, mushrooms.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1 lb. mini penne, cooked and drained

1 (16 oz.) bottle zesty Italian dressing

1 envelope Italian dressing dry mix

1 English cucumber, diced

1 (10 oz.) jar green olives, drained

1 (8 oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 (14 oz.) can whole artichokes, rinsed, drained and chopped

1 (14 oz.) can hearts of palm, rinsed, drained and chopped 

1 TBS dried parsley

In a medium bowl whisk together Italian dressing and dry Italian mix. When pasta is cooked and drained, add to a large bowl. Pour dressing over warm pasta and stir well. Chill for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Just before serving, add all veggies and stir well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. 

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Inspired by South Your Mouth