This Zesty Rotini & Greens with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette recipe is the second of a two-part blog post…the first being my Classic Macaroni Salad from earlier this week. They’ve both earned the badge for damn good pasta salads in my book!
Zesty Rotini & Greens with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
Now, I get really excited about food, especially when our garden is in full swing, thanks to my beau. A few weeks ago, I wanted to make a salad for a party, primarily because I wanted to try out a new Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette recipe I dreamed up. My wish to make either a green salad and/or a veggie pasta salad competed for my attention, so I made both…and combined them. It was divine intervention!
It seems to me, lemons are getting more-than-usual attention in the world of food and recipes. Fine by me because I LOVE them! In fact, I buy them in bulk from Costco so I can afford my habit. Sometimes, locally grown Meyer lemons will magically appear in my hands. Sigh. I adore these times.
The Lemon-Herb vinaigrette for this salad really is the star of the show! I use plenty of lemon, plenty of fresh herbs and I create an emulsion when adding the olive oil.
Q: What is an emulsion?
A: It’s the process of blending two liquids that usually separate [such as vinegar and oil] into a creamy mixture.
Q: Why create an emulsion?
A: For the creamy, dreamy outcome that lasts for days in your refrigerator. If you’ve ever experienced the separation of oil and vinegar, this is the way around it.
Q: How do I create an emulsion?
A: It is recommended to combine all of your dressing ingredients such as mustard, sweetener, and spices into a suitable bowl. The oil must be [very] slowly drizzled into the other ingredients and continuously whisked to emulsify.
Q: Won’t the emulsion solidify in my refrigerator?
A: Yes, but you can simply remove it from the fridge and hold it at room temperature for 5-15 minutes and it’s ready to use.
Back to the dressing. It’s so versatile, you can use it as a marinade, dressing for other salads, or a dipping oil for your french bread slices. I love the functionality of it!
I must admit, adding salami to this pasta salad sealed my love for it. I used Columbus Reduced-Sodium Salame. It’s a great product and it’s made right here in the Bay area. I’m not sure if it’s available around the country, but it’s worth looking in to.
For the vegetarian, this pasta salad still rocks even without the salami. In fact, the first test batch didn’t have salami and received rave reviews from the party guests. Their responses inspired me to post the recipe. So, here it is!
What’s your favorite summertime salad? I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments below!
Cheers to warm weather, picnics, and always, to your health!
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