Monday, July 19, 2010

Arugula and Broccoli Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Here is the recipe for a pasta salad I made tonight that my husband said is the best salad he ever ate!!  Maybe he was just really hungry, but I also thought it was very tasty and perfect for a hot summer night.  I threw together some arugula from my garden, steamed broccoli, whole wheat pasta, tossed them in a lemon vinaigrette, and topped it with a handful of pine nuts.  Great layers of flavor and textures, and so refreshing!  The only thing missing was shaved Parmesan cheese, which I will add next time.  Since this is the best salad my "until we are parted by death" dining partner ever ate, I'm thinking there will definitely be a next time!

Arugula and Broccoli Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 14 ounce box whole wheat pasta(penne or bow tie preferred)
1-2 cups steamed broccoli
1-2 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)

Lemon Vinaigrette
1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
juice from 2-3 lemons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Cook pasta according to box directions.  While pasta is cooking, make vinaigrette.  In a large bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, black pepper, and salt.  Whisk olive oil into mixture in a slow, steady stream.  Set aside.  Drain cooked pasta and run under cold water until pasta has cooled slightly.  Add cooled pasta, cooled steamed broccoli, and baby arugula to the lemon vinaigrette and toss gently.  Top with pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.

Adjust the amount of lemon zest and juice to your taste.  I love tart flavors, but you may prefer a more mild vinaigrette.  

**I love dishes like this because I can easily set aside plain pasta and broccoli for my kids before I create a meal that my husband and I will enjoy.  One day their taste buds will catch up with ours, but for now I let them enjoy their version of a simple dinner!**

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