Summer Veggie & Basil Pasta Salad

Dearest Pasta People, 

I haven’t forgotten about you–it’s just that, sometimes, a steaming bowl of pasta doesn’t sound like the most bomb.com idea in the heat of the summer.

As any true pasta lover knows, though, pasta can be enjoyed at any temperature (kind of like it’s beautiful Italian cousin, pizza).

SO…I bring to you a cold pasta salad perfect for summertime enjoyment. Well, I say “I,” but what I really mean is “we”–because I had a partner in delicious crime for this one.

I had the pleasure of working with my new-found friend, Maggie Rotanz, to develop and photograph this recipe. She’s a local photojournalist who, a lot like myself, spent some time in Ohio and then decided it was time to mosey back home to the mountains (they’re kind of like this pasta salad–once you get a taste, you can never stay away for too long).

Anywho, Maggie is a walking jar of awesomesauce. She’s great at what she does (food photography), and was willing to teach me a few tricks in exchange for some nutrition + cooking tips. Perfect trade, if you ask me.

Photo by Maggie Rotanz

This dish is the perfect fit for a light, nutrient-dense bite. It’s loaded with fiber from the chickpea pasta and veggies, healthy fats from the olive oil, and protein *also* from the chickpea pasta. It’s naturally gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan–depending on your view of honey.

Let’s peep this recipe’s featured nutritional highlight: 

Basil

Basil is a flavorful herb known well in Italian, Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisine. Its bright, green leaves are rick in vitamins K and C, as well as magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium1.

There are about 35 different types of basil, but the species most revered for its medicinal properties is Holy Basil. The oils of this plant are used medicinally in traditional and folk medicines of Southeast Asia and India.

However, all types of basil have been shown to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, liver-protecting, and pain-reducing properties.

The flavonoid antioxidants found in basil help to safeguard the DNA of healthy cells from potential oxidative (or “DNA damaging”) free radicals. Phytochemicals (the biologically active, disease-protecting molecules found in plant foods) found in basil are protective against inflammation and certain cancers. Some essential oils present in basil have also been proven to protect against harmful bacterial growth2.

Plus, it’s delicious–and that’s enough reason alone to convince me! Basil…more like BAEsil, am I right?

Bone apple teeth!

Yours Chewly,

 

 

 

P.S. If you wanna check out more of Maggie’s stunning food photography, click here!

 

Sources & Additional Readings: 

  1. Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Basil, fresh. Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Oil, soybean, salad or cooking. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/02044?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=basil&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=. Accessed July 25, 2018.
  2. Baliga MS, Jimmy R, Thilakchand KR, et al. Ocimum sanctum L (Holy Basil or Tulsi) and its phytochemicals in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Advances in pediatrics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23682780. Accessed July 25, 2018.
Print Recipe
Summer Veggie & Basil Pasta Salad
Course Lunch, Sides, Snacks
Cuisine Lunch, Pasta, Sides
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the Dressing
  • 1 oz. Fresh basil
  • 2 ea. Fresh lemons -Juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Brown mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • Salt -Small pinch, to taste
For the Salad
  • 1 box Banza Pasta
  • 1 cup Yellow squash -Finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Radishes -Finely diced
  • 3/4 cup Green onions -Chopped
  • Microgreens -Optional, for garnish
  • Salt & Pepper -To taste
Course Lunch, Sides, Snacks
Cuisine Lunch, Pasta, Sides
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
For the Dressing
  • 1 oz. Fresh basil
  • 2 ea. Fresh lemons -Juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Brown mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • Salt -Small pinch, to taste
For the Salad
  • 1 box Banza Pasta
  • 1 cup Yellow squash -Finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Radishes -Finely diced
  • 3/4 cup Green onions -Chopped
  • Microgreens -Optional, for garnish
  • Salt & Pepper -To taste
Instructions
Salad
  1. Begin by cooking the Banza pasta. Follow instructions on the box and watch closely--it usually takes slightly less time to cook than indicated on the box. Be careful not to overcook.
  2. While pasta is cooking, chop the yellow squash and radishes into small, match-stick style pieces. Add veggies, along with chopped green onions, to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Once pasta finishes cooking, drain and add to mixing bowl containing veggies. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss gently to prevent noodles from sticking together. Add a small pinch of salt & pepper, if desired. Set aside and let cool.
Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small blender or food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are thoroughly combined & mixture appears creamy. Use additional honey and/or lemon juice to adapt the sweetness and/or the tartness of the recipe to your desired taste.
  2. Pour about half of the dressing over contents of mixing bowl and fold ingredients gently to incorporate. Allow mixture to sit & soak up the goodness for about 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, you may choose to add the remainder of the dressing or save it for another go-round.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature and top with microgreens, if desired. Will keep well in the fridge for about a week and is a great enjoyed by itself or as a topping for traditional salads!


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