Last week, our family took a little day trip to Shelburne Farms. If you haven’t been, you should definitely get out there. They have tons of hiking and walking trails, a children’s farmyard with lots of animals to see (and chickens to pick up), and they have an absolutely delicious lunch cart.
While we were visiting, I ordered a pasta salad that had chopped bacon and sliced strawberries, and I was determined to try and make it at home. Luckily, the ingredients were pretty simple, and I was able to pick a lot of them up at Burlington’s Farmer’s Market on Saturday.
The recipe is very versatile. Want more whole grains? Swap out regular pasta for whole wheat. Gluten free? Use rice noodles or even cooked and cooled quinoa. Want to make it vegetarian? Leave out the bacon and add some pistachios. Next time I make it I may add some fresh basil or mint for an extra kick.
I warn you, you may end up eating this pasta salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for as long as Strawberries are in season!
Strawberry Pasta Salad
Serves 4 as a main dish
- Half a pound of your favorite pasta (I used Gemelli because I liked the shape)
- 2 large handfuls of delicate greens (spinach, salad greens, etc.. I’d avoid the more intensive ones like kale for this particular recipe)
- 5-6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/3 lb (or two handfuls) of fresh sugar snap peas
- ½ pint of strawberries, sliced
- 2 green onions, chopped
(Adapted slightly from Taste of Home)
- Half a package of frozen sliced strawberries, thawed (about 7-8oz)
- Juice from 1-2 lemons (or about 4 tablespoons)
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 cup white sugar
Making sure that the sliced strawberries are thawed (I used frozen for this because the Farmer’s Market ones are $5 a pint and I didn’t want to spend that much on a salad dressing), place all the vinaigrette ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust to taste. I ended up adding a bit more olive oil and vinegar to mine.
Boil the pasta according to the directions.
Rinse the greens and place in a large bowl. Add the sliced strawberries and the peas.
When the pasta is done, drain and toss lightly with olive oil and salt. Pour over the greens. (I did not run the pasta under cool water because I wanted it to wilt the greens some, but you certainly can do so prior to tossing with the oil and salt).
Toss the pasta with the vegetables and berries, then top with the bacon and stir a bit more.
(At this point I added more strawberries, just for some more color, but that’s up to you.)
Dish into individual bowls and top with the vinaigrette (there will be leftovers) and the chopped green onions.