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My family’s favorite pasta salad that makes perfect picnic’s main dish and great lunchbox idea.

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With weather changing to warmer temperatures, announcing beginning of spring, although the weather outside is still too cold, but we are getting ready to welcome the summer. Yesterday was the official day of spring, my favorite season.
Spring to me is not only a season, but it also means a lot;

The beginning of life…
Simplicity…
Warmth…
The beauty…
The bright flowers popping through…
Leaves starting to stretch out…
Songs of the new hatch sings…
Buzz of the bees…
Rat a tat tat of the rain…
Picnics and more family fun…

Every time I make this salad it remind me of spring. Cool, easy to prepare, with all beautiful colors; greens, yellow, red, purple, and white. Sure will feast your eyes, and sing a happy symphony in your mouth.

One of my family’s favorite salad, it makes a great lunchbox meal, plus it’s easy to make that the kids would love to share the work preparing it for the next day school lunch. It is also a savory side dish to bring for family gathering and potlucks, a satisfying one dish meal for busy weeknight or weekends, and wonderful main dish salad to prepare for picnics.

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All ingredients complement each other. The juicy sweet and slightly tart tomato, the crunchy cool cucumber, the purple cabbage pop in, all combine to meet with the protein portion shrimp that sucks in all the tangy,lemony juices, while the onion gives a little push, and the cheese lends this very fresh dish the gravity of age, and the olive oil emulsified in for rich, slippery body. The flavors swirl as you slurp it up, bouncing from bright and clean to deep and savory, and once all the pasta gone, you’ll have the nice fresh vegetable salad.

Also, because I make it so often, I also make a lot of variations on it. Sometimes I use different vegetables, or substitute the chicken of shrimp or make it veggies only dish. But it will always be our favorite pasta salad.

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Shrimp Avocado and Pasta Salad

3 cups uncooked Garden Rotini
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup high-quality olive oil
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (sometimes I use Mexican 4 cheese)
about 10 large shrimp (I prefer raw wild caught, but the frozen and cooked will work too)
2-3 Bay leaves
1 large avocado cut in cubes
1/2 cup diced green or orange bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh italian leave parsley, chopped
1 cup grab or cherry tomato, cut in halves
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup purple cabbage, chopped

In a pot, bring 3 quart of water to rabid boil. Add salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil (this helps the pasta not to stick together). Cook the pasta uncovered on medium heat until tender, about 10-12 min. Rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and put into a large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, dried basil leaves, oregano, and parmesan cheese, mix well, let the pasta soak all the juices.

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Meanwhile in another pot bring water to boil, you may add some bay leaves, add the raw shrimp boil for 5 min, the color will change to pink. Rinse with water to stop cooking then take off the shells and clean. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic powder, mix together.

In the pasta bowl, add the shrimp and the remaining ingredients and gently mix until well combined. Test for seasoning.

Serve chilled.

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