June 14, 2009
Picnic Pasta Salad
I made this pasta salad for a summer jazz concert. This perfect picnic salad is fresh, easy, and tasty.
1/2 lb penne pasta (or short pasta of choice)
1 lb chicken tenders (or chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces (any color will work)
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup shaved parmesan reggiano cheese
Salt, pepper, and garlic salt
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Be sure to season the water with salt once it comes to a boil.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a skillet and add chicken. Cook each side of the chicken until golden brown and juices run clear. Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest and cool.
Drain and rinse pasta with cold water to stop cooking. Add pasta to a large mixing bowl and enough good olive oil to coat.
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add it to the mixing bowl along with all the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss the salad. Add more olive oil if desired and put the pasta salad in a container.
Place the pine nuts, cheese and lemon wedges in separate containers and bring to the picnic. Once at the picnic, squeeze desired amount of lemon juice into the salad and add all the pine nuts and toss. Divide the salad and top with shaved cheese and enjoy.
**Note: Salad can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated over night.