Fresh-from-the-Farmers’ Market Pasta Salad is the answer to ‘what’s-for-dinner?’ with summer’s bounty from local farm stands or your own garden. Fresh, light, and on our summer rotation of easy meals for the summer!
You can adjust your ingredients for what’s in season or what you like.
My June issue of Southern Living Magazine yielded a bumper crop of delicious recipes to try this summer! I bookmarked Farmers’ Market Pasta Salad to return to, timed with a visit to one of our local Farmers’ Markets when peaches were in season.
We are lucky to have a choice of two local Farmers Markets nearby to visit for garden fresh ingredients, one of our favorite Saturday morning pastimes.
Don’t forget to bring your Radio Flyer wagon :)
Part of the appeal of the Farmers’ Market
for me is the bounty of fresh flowers.
This pasta salad is a quick-fix with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store! I cook my pasta ahead, toss with the vinaigrette while warm for additional flavor, and refrigerate until I’m ready to put everything together. It will keep several days in the fridge and is great to pull out for lunch.
Farmers’ Market Pasta Salad
Peaches seem like an unlikely addition to this pasta salad with zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper and corn, but they make the salad!
2 cups halved baby heirloom tomatoes
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup diced firm, ripe fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (I used 1/4 cup diced red onion instead)
1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta (I used rotini)
2 cups shredded chicken
1/3 cup torn fresh basil
1/3 cup torn fresh cilantro
Toss together veggies and peaches with vinaigrette in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions, cooking the pasta al dente (1 or 2 minutes shorter than package directions specify) so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette.
Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with basil and cilantro.
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Process Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add basil and cilantro; pulse 5 or 6 times or just until blended.
Parmesan Vinaigrette is a great dressing!
It’s similar to our favorite go-to bottled dressing, Newman’s Own Parmesan & Roasted Garlic that we use on our Orzo Salad in a Jar.
If you’re in a hurry, it would be a great substitution and you can add your basil and cilantro to the salad, instead of the dressing.
This would be a great salad to transport
in a jar and take along on a picnic too!
You can find a printable recipe for Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad, courtesy of Southern Living, HERE.
Hope you’re enjoying the bounty of the season!