Summer Greens Pasta Salad

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I don’t know about you, but we have been swimming in greens this summer. Glorious bunches of kale, chard, mustard greens, bok choy and lettuce abound from our CSA box every week and I find myself wanting to tuck them in to everything I cook.

Including, and especially, dishes that end up being shared with others. Spread the gospel of greens, if you will. A lot of people love the idea of including these healthy greens in their meals, but have a hard time knowing where to start. My rule is: when in doubt, put it in pasta.

On hot summer days I have a hard time getting too excited about eating a large meal. I want fresh, light and cool. This recipe can be served hot or cold, but I find it especially delicious chilled. We brought it to our family 4th of July potluck and it was a hit. I’ve even made it a couple times since. In fact, one night last week when it was far too sweltering to consider turning on the oven, Taylor and I sat on the couch and ate this salad straight out of the serving bowl. Two forks, one bowl and pass the balsamic vinegar please. De-licious.

I (very slightly) adapted this recipe from The Pioneer Woman who is the master of all things “comfort food,” but gave it a bit of an Oregon spin by throwing in some rainbow chard instead of kale, and hazelnuts instead of pine nuts. She also said the balsamic vinegar was optional, but I’m telling you it’s crucial. The more the merrier. I’m sure this would be equally as lovely with a different type of pasta, a variety of nuts and another kind of greens. You could even add some grilled chicken. Mix it up! But most importantly, enjoy!

Summer Picnic Foods | Bird is the Word (7 of 20)

Summer Greens Pasta Salad
Author: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  • 1 pound Bowtie Pasta (farfalle)
  • 3 Tablespoons Hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, More To Taste
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 bunch Swiss (or Rainbow) Chard, Finely Sliced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and add to a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Spread hazelnuts on a sheet tray and toast in the oven 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Cool and chop.
  4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over low heat so that the garlic slowly infuses the oil. When the oil starts to cause the garlic to sizzle, stir around so the garlic doesn’t get too brown. When garlic starts to turn golden, add salt, pepper and chili flake, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes, pour the oil mixture (scraping the salt, pepper, chili flakes and garlic) all over the bowtie pasta. Toss to combine and set aside.
  6. Add chard and hazelnuts to the pasta and toss it all together. Check to make sure it’s no longer warm, then add Parmesan shavings and toss. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

The third potluck dish makes it’s appearance next week and it’s one of my favorite go-to’s for catering. Stay tuned!

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