Friday, June 28, 2013

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

Welcome to summertime, folks! Summer has officially started. Do you know what this means? It means it's time to break out your skewers, steak knives, burger condiments, seafood tools, and potluck recipes. It's barbecue time! I always seem to struggle with barbecue sides. I have a few go-to recipes that always seem to make an appearance but I get nervous trying new sides. Family and friends look forward to the "Layered Pea Salad",  the "BBQ Baked Beans", and the "Make Ahead Macaroni Salad". Well I went out of my comfort zone yesterday and I'm glad that I did. I love fruit but wasn't so sure how everyone else would love fruit....WITH PASTA!

That's right! Pasta salad with fruit and veggies. Oh - and there may have been some bacon tossed in. (Who can say "no" to bacon???) This pasta salad was a hit. I cringed as the first serving was dished out but was pleasantly surprised when I saw seconds and thirds being passed around. I was even more surprised when my non-pasta-salad-eating-husband asked for a scoop.

This combination may sound strange but it's sure to please your palates. It's a nice change from the standard pasta salad and I have a funny feeling that it will be making a regular appearance on our tables this summer.

Here's what you do.

Broccoli, Grape, & Pasta Salad
Slightly adapted from

16 ounces farfalle (bowtie) pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems and separate florets into small pieces using the top of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.

Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, diced red onion, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl. Add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes. Stir to coat. Cover and chill for 3 hours. Stir in bacon just before serving.

** NOTE: The original recipe called for some toasted pecans (but I omitted them because I decided to keep this "nut-free". The original recipe also called for only 8 ounces of pasta but I felt that there was a lot of dressing for this salad and it was much better balanced with more pasta. You can use your own judgement here and do what you prefer.

I hope you guys like this one. I'm adding it to my barbecue side rotation. It's definitely a keeper. Enjoy!

xo, Stephanie

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