Pasta, to me, will always be a cold weather, stick-to-your-ribs food. When I asked the Facebook Fans what recipes they’d like to see the overwhelming response was for pasta. I was pretty shocked that anyone wanted pasta in this heat but I remembered the quintessential summer dish I’d been craving as well: pasta salad. It’s pasta, it’s served cool or at least ambient temperature, and it’s full of vegetables and herbs and bright summery freshness, what more could you ask for?
Well Michael, from Chicken Fried Gourmet, had me at Green Goddess dressing. Pasta salad drenched in mayo sounds typical, but pasta salad drenched in herby Green Goddess mayo? I had to try it.
Basil Green Goddess Salad Dressingmakes 2 1/2 cups, prep 5 min, adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home, 2006
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 7 scallions
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp anchovy paste
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
- Combine mayo, basil, scallions, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend until smoothly pureed.
- Add sour cream to the blender and blend just until combined. Chill dressing until serving.
First, can I say: Green Goddess dressing, where have you been all my life?? I haven’t tasted many dressings as creamy and refreshing as this one. It would be fantastic on a cob salad or this salad or even over a wedge of iceberg scattered with ripe tomatoes.
This salad doesn’t have to be a lot of work and, as with most pasta salads, can be totally flexible. I made fresh green goddess dressing because I wanted to try it, but you can certainly buy a bottled version you like. I also loosely followed Michael’s suggestions for marinating and grilling a chicken breast, however chicken cooked in any fashion would also be fine. As for the vegetables, add any you like-personally I liked the crunch of the celery and the chew of the sun-dried tomatoes, but some finely diced sweet bell pepper, cucumber, or fresh tomatoes would also be good. Next time I might experiment with adding a little Parmesan or feta cheese as well.
Green Goddess Chicken Pasta Saladserves 6, prep 20 min, cook 30 min, marinate chicken and chill pasta overnight or at least 4 hours, adapted from Chicken Fried Gourmet
- 1 pound chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
- 4 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 oz pasta, such as fusilli, penne, or macaroni
- salt and pepper
- Green Goddess Dressing
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
- fresh basil, oregano, and chives, minced
- Combine oil, wine, vinegar, garlic, honey, dried oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes and marinate chicken overnight or at least four hours.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta and cook until pasta is al dente. You want pasta to have a fairly firm bite if you are making ahead.
- Drain cooked pasta and rinse it under cold water. Toss pasta with a small amount of dressing, just to coat, season with salt and pepper, then chill pasta until cold at least four hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, drain chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Grill chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Set aside to rest.
- Toss vegetables and pasta together. Toss with desired amount of dressing to coat.
- Slice chicken breast into bite-sized chunks. Mix chicken into pasta along with accumulated juices.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and minced fresh herbs.