Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vegan Pasta Salad with Artichokes

To celebrate my Mom’s birthday, her fiancée decided we should all get together and throw her a surprise birthday party. Everyone is to bring a side dish and I knew exactly what I wanted to bring. My Mom’s favorite food in the whole world is the artichoke. Any way you can prepare them, she loves ‘em. With that in mind, I knew I wanted to make a simple pasta salad that could sit out during her celebration without having to worry about the dairy products in it spoiling in the warm weather. I love the crunch of the fresh vegetables and the sweet undertones of sun dried tomato. This salad serves a crowd.

What You Need:

1 lb whole wheat pasta
1 – 12 oz jar marinated artichokes, drained
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
½ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, thinly sliced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest of one lemon
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

What To Do:

Combine oil and zest and set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Prepare pasta according to packages instructions.  Make sure you salt the cooking water well (about a tablespoon of salt) because it's your only chance to season the noodles. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. For best results, make a day ahead.

Serves 12 - 14

Happy Birthday Mom!