Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Edamame Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Honey Dressing

Pasta salads are one of my favorite summer foods. For me, pasta is a comfort food but, when the weather is hot, I don’t always want to eat a heavy and hot meal so I turn to pasta salads. My “go to” pasta salad is mayo based with celery, egg, peas, and tuna. My mom and grandmother both always have a big bowl of it in the refrigerator throughout the summer. It keeps well, everyone in my family loves it, and it goes perfectly with grilled meats and vegetables. However, you know I like to switch things up. I’m also very finicky when it comes to mayo. Sometimes, especially when it’s hot out, it makes my stomach feel a little weird. So I generally try to stick with more oil-based pasta salads when I’m experimenting.

This recipe uses lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. I think the flavor combination is absolutely wonderful. The lemon keeps it light, the olive oil keeps it from being dry, and the honey makes it just a little bit sweet. The goat cheese tones down the sweetness of the honey and the tartness of the lemon and it all comes together perfectly. When you let the pasta salad sit for a couple hours, the liquids cause the goat cheese to break down a little bit, which creates a creamy sauce that coats everything. For vegetables I used edamame and cucumber for some crunch and tomato for some color. I think next time I would substitute the tomato for a red bell pepper because it would hold up better. But you can use any veggies that you like!

This can also be eaten cold as a pasta salad or slightly warmed. If you stick it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, the pasta will get a little warm and the goat cheese will melt but the vegetables will still stay crisp! 

Edamame Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber, and Honey Dressing adapted from Sugarcrafter
  • 8 ounces pasta (I used penne)
  • 6 ounces frozen edamame, shelled and thawed
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
For the dressing:
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
1.       Cook the pasta according to package directions. Let cool completely.
2.       Dice the cucumber and onion, and halve the tomatoes.
3.       In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
4.       In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, honey, and lemon juice. Toss with the salad. Can be served chilled or slightly warm. 

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