It's salad season again, and I'm so glad! There's just something about a nice, cool pasta salad in the summer that I adore. I love that I don't have to turn on the oven, and that it can be made well ahead of time and sit in the fridge until dinner time. When I make a pasta salad I get that same feeling of comfort that I get from preparing a meal in the crock pot. It's so satisfying knowing that dinner is waiting, ready whenever we are.
We eat pasta salad in some form almost every day in the summertime. The kids will spread a blanket under a tree in the backyard for a simple picnic of leftover salad. And this is the perfect make-ahead meal for a road trip. It travels well, and if you don't add meat it can be left at room temperature for several hours. Perhaps you remember this salad from our road trip over spring break. Well here's another to add to the recipe box.
I tossed tuna with mini Fusilli and made a simple honey-mustard vinaigrette, similar to that which I use on my potato salad. It complemented the tuna perfectly, in the same way a honey-mustard glaze complements salmon. (Now that I think about it, using salmon in place of the tuna would be wonderful as well. If you give it a try, please let me know how it works.)
As for the herbs, I add whatever is ready to be picked in the garden. This time I used a handful of basil and parsley from my herb box, and several chive sprigs from this gigantic plant that has taken over the corner of the vegetable garden.
My kids devoured this salad. C had three helpings! Pretty amazing if you know my boy.
Tuna and Fusilli Salad
10 oz mini Fusilli (about 2/3 box) (rice pasta, whole wheat, or semolina)
1 cup frozen or fresh garden peas
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cans tuna
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
2 Tbsp capers, drained
a handful of fresh basil, parsley, and chives, chopped
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
a large pinch of salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and peas, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
Meanwhile whisk all the Vinaigrette ingredients together in a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and peas, the tomatoes, tuna, olives, capers, and chopped herbs. Toss well and taste for seasoning.
Shared with: Foodie Friday at Simple Living, Summer Salad Sundays, Real Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Mangia Mondays