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Perfect Picnic Salads

May 28, 2010 08:51PM ● Published by Erin Frisch

Summer Salads

Break out the pasta!

One of the great things about pasta salad in the summer is that you can cook it the night before or in the cool of the morning and then just toss it with the other ingredients before eating.

Savory Salad Starter

Mix up a batch of Savory Salad Starter to give all your summer salads that one-of-a-kind tangy taste.

  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chopped oregano leaves
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
In a small pitcher, mix all ingredients and stir. Place in bottom of a large serving bowl and build pasta salad on top.

Pasta, Peas, and Prawns Salad

Pick up some Chinese takeout boxes at the craft store and fill them with individual servings of this yummy salad—just right for a picnic in the park or on the front porch.

  • 1 box farfalle, cooked al dente and cooled
  • 1 recipe Savory Salad starter
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 3 cups fresh large shrimp, cooked, shelled, and deveined
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • Additional sea salt to taste
In a large mixing bowl, place salad starter, pasta, and rest of ingredients. Toss to thoroughly coat all ingredients. Spread on a large chilled platter and serve.

Tip: Make this salad early in the day to let the flavors meld for several hours for optimum flavor. Don’t like shrimp? Substitute grilled chicken instead.

Mexican Twist Corkscrew Salad

Add some spice to your meal with this unique south-of-the-border creation.

  • 1 box spiral pasta, cooked al dente, cooled
  • 1 recipe Savory Salad Starter
  • 1 cup pre‑made guacamole
  • 1 cup parmesean cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh sprigs of thyme
In a large mixing bowl, place salad starter, pasta, guacamole, and the rest of the ingredients. Toss well to coat and refrigerate several hours. Serve with grilled meats and fish.

Tip: Take this to your next pot luck to put some zing into the same old ho-hum salads and casseroles your friends bring.

Ravioli Salad

  • 1 (20 ounce) package refrigerated four-cheese cheese ravioli
  • 1 recipe Savory Salad Starter
  • 1/2 cup diced red peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced orange peppers
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme
Cook ravioli using the instructions on the package; drain and set aside.

Add the ravioli, dressing, peppers, onion, parmesan, and thyme (keep a pinch of thyme to garnish); toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving.

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