Yields One Large Bowl Of Salad
3/4 - 1 LB Salmon
1 Box Rotini Pasta
4 Sprigs Fresh Dill 1 Lemon Zested
1/2 C Minced Radish
1/4 C Toasted Pine Nuts Pesto Vinaigrette:
2 C Packed Fresh Basil
1 1/4 C Shredded Parmesan 4 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/4 C Pine Nuts
3/4 C Olive Oil
1 Lemon Juiced
1 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper Blackening Spice: 1/2 TBS Paprika 1/4 TBS Cayenne 1/4 TBS Lemon Pepper Seasoning 1/4 TBS Garlic Powder
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I love how summertime makes your senses pop; the smell of freshly fallen rain, the gorgeous hue of colors around you, and of course the food. Oh....the food! Dishes filled with lemons and fresh berries, tomatoes, and peaches - it makes me well up a little just thinking about it! One of my favorite parts of summer, though, are the BBQ's! This is because with every great BBQ there are friends who bring some awesome side dishes! My guilty pleasure? Pasta Salad!!
There's just something about it that makes me feel like I am not being totally gluttonous, hovering in a decent amount of carbs. Is it because I intake equal parts fruit salad as well? I am not 100% certain but I am just going to keep telling myself that it's ok... Anywhoo, for my pasta salad recipe you want to begin with...well cooking your pasta, silly! Cook until al dente and then set aside to cool. Next we will want to chop, and slice our veggies.
Add your veggies and fresh dill to the cooled pasta, and give 'er a good old fashioned mixin' - Top with zest and set aside.
For the salmon you will want to mix all of your spices together....
.....and proceed to rub them into your fish. Do not do this like a deep tissue massage! Although it feels nice in theory, it will literally destroy your fish! You want to rub them like a person who doesn't know how to give a massage. Light, awkward, and leaves you saying "thanks" like it's a question....
Bring a sauté pan, with your oil in it, to medium high heat and wait until the oil begins to smoke a little. Turn heat off and add salmon one at a time flesh side down. Turn the heat back on and cook for 3 minutes, flip....carefully, and cook for 6 more minutes. - Thank you Alex Guarnaschelli for this technique. I know we don't know each other personally but your instructions were perfect. Thank you as well for liking my comment on your avocado picture on Facebook. It was punny and ridiculous statement, and I very much enjoyed that you too get a kick out of lighthearted literary madness.
Let your salmon rest for a few minutes, and then pull that beauty apart. Put it onto a plate and let it cool down completely in your fridge. Meanwhile let's make us some pesto vinaigrette! Add basil, garlic, parmesan, and pine nuts into your food processor.
Blend until well combined, stopping to mix occasionally to ensure that all your ingredients are mixed in. While your food processor is still on stream in 1/2 C oil, 1 lemon juiced, and 1 TBS red wine vinegar. Stop and stir everything together again, and then turn your processor back on. Add in your salt, pepper, and in 1/4 C oil to finish. Continue blending until dressing is smooth and creamy.
We are almost there, but we have one more thing to do.....Toast our pine nuts! Resist the urge to eat them, post toasting, as they were ridiculously expensive and you need them to garnish your salad with!
Now to combine and dine! Mix your pasta and veggies with your freshly made pesto vinaigrette. Top your salad with blackened salmon, and toasted pine nuts to add that pop of color, and go to town on this tasty creation! I currently have my salad under lock and key in our fridge, as I am having troubles not continuing to eat more out of the bowl, but after a good work out I may renegotiate said key situation ;)
Looking for a healthier take? Well lucky for you I have two more options for this summertime side dish! Leave it undressed. Oooooh la la, that's right! Add a tsp of oil to your pasta just to ensure that it doesn't stick together and let those veggies, lemon, and dill shine!
If you are still wanting a heartier dressing, but with none of the guilt, try my Pea Pesto Recipe on it instead! Still incredibly delightful, and it will help you maintain that girlish figure!