Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pasta Primavera w/ Pineapple-Lemon Vinaigrette

This is an excellent salad for those extra warm to hot days, packed with fresh veggies, herbs and uber nutrients, and goes along perfectly with your favorite grilled fare especially chicken, pork and fish.  Alone, this salad is the perfect base for protein enriched salads featuring canned tuna and canned chicken breast, just add mayo or salad dressing.  My family and  I have tried all three versions, and we were very pleased with all mediums in which it was served, especially the one with tuna!
This recipe is a great way to utilize up and coming veggies in your gardens or that are given by your gardening friends! Briny, canned artichoke hearts pair amazingly well with the tropical-sweet pineapple segments and earthy fresh mushrooms.  The vinaigrette for this recipe may easily be used to marinate proteins as well.
1 lb. Penne Rigate, cooked al dente
4 c. fresh broccoli florets, blanched and shocked
8 oz. canned artichoke hearts, well drained and halved
1 c. sliced mini orange sweet peppers
1 c. fresh sliced mushrooms
4 slices pineapple, cut into segments, reserving canned juices for vinaigrette
Pineapple-Lemon Vinaigrette:
2/3 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh julienne of oregano
juice of one fresh lemon

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes.  Blanch broccoli in pasta water during last two minutes of cooking, then skim out and transfer to ice bath or very cold water to stop cooking process.
Drain and rinse pasta with cool water also.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a large vessel and mix vinaigrette ingredients in a separate small vessel, whisking until well blended.  SPST.
Pour over salad and coat in a folding fashion with a large rubber spatula.
Let stand for several minutes , folding often, allowing flavors to marry and serve or refrigerate until ready to use.
May be served at room temperature.