Can I tell you how much I'm loving garden herbs at the moment? I've tried to grow herbs here + there in the past but never more than one or two plants at a time. This year I have a fun assortment--my favorite being the lemon thyme--and they're all doing really well! Each plant cost $2.99 which is equal to ONE of those little plastic packs filled with herbs that you can use for about 1 single recipe. I find those to be one of the biggest rip offs. You're telling me 7 basil leaves cost as much as a gigantic head of kale!?
Rant over. Point being --> grow herbs because they are delicious + cheap + kind of fancy
Now we can continue to the easiest summer dinner you will ever see. But let's not get all technical about the term, "easiest." Microwaving macaroni is definitely easier. As is making a grilled cheese + avocado toast. But this is a real-deal meal, filled with fresh vegetables. Excuse the triple rhyme. It happened and I left it.
To start off we have homemade dressing. No blender necessary and it's filled with just a few simple ingredients. A fresh + summery Italian dressing, if you will.
Then, you boil a pot of noodles and drain the hot water over the vegetables to cook them in a speedy 3 minutes. See, super simple, and we're reusing water! Win!
Next, toss with the dressing + serve.
Yeah, we're already done.
Welcome to your new favorite summer meal.
Summer Veggie Pasta Salad
gluten-free, vegan // yields 4-6 servings
for the dressing:
- 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 6-8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, I used lemon thyme, basil, parsley, and oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed + finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons agave nectar, or honey
- 3/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon onion powder granules
- Place ingredients in a jar, seal, and vigorously shake until fully combined.
- Place in the fridge until ready to use. Taste and add more olive oil for a less acidic flavor. Let the dressing sit for at least 1 hour [or overnight] in the fridge to help the flavors fully develop!
for the pasta salad:
- 1, 10oz package pasta of choice, gluten-free/vegan if needed
- 3 cups sliced + halved green squash
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup green beans, ends trimmed + chopped in half
- 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed + drained
- 1 cup halved grape/cherry tomatoes
- salt + pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. *Do not discard cooking water.
- While cooking, place the squash, peas, and green beans in a large pot or heat-safe bowl.
- When the pasta is finished cooking place a colander over the pot of vegetables and drain the water into the pot until the vegetables are covered. Let vegetables sit in the water for about 3 minutes. Veggies should still have a nice crunch.
- Finish draining the pasta in the colander over the sink, then run ice cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking. ~30 seconds
- Remove pasta from the colander.
- Drain the vegetables through the colander and run under ice cold water for 30 seconds - 1 minute.
- Combine in a large bowl or pot with the noodles, chickpeas, tomatoes, and a few generous pinches of salt + pepper.
- Pour about 2/3 of the dressing over the pasta and gently toss until well coated.
- Taste and add more salt/pepper if desired.
- Cover + refrigerate until fully chilled and ready to serve. Pour on a little extra dressing just before serving and toss to combine or serve dressing on the side.
*Feel free to top with parmesan or goat cheese if desired.
*If you skip out on the fresh herbs your tastebuds will be sad.
Leftovers are as simple as taking a spoon to the bowl and then straight to your face. Enjoy!