Sunday, June 23, 2013

Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

I made a pretty good kale and chickpea salad with tahini dressing recently, with apples and dried cranberries, but upon looking at it, it seemed too similar to previous recipes I’ve posted to warrant a whole post. This broccoli pasta salad, though, deserves it. I reduced the amount of mayonnaise by half, because I refuse to use 1 cup of mayonnaise in anything, and it was delicious; the Engineer and I both approve. We had tons of salad, though, probably because I used the whole package of pasta without realizing the recipe called for half, so I can testify that while it is good with bacon, it is also very good without. You can also omit the nuts if you want, or use vegan mayonnaise without a problem.

1 cup chopped pecans
½ (16-oz.) package farfalle pasta or other short pasta (I used the whole bag!)
1 lb. fresh broccoli
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. (Honestly, I always do this in a pan on the stovetop.)

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.

Whisk together mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours (I served it warm the first night, I think). Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

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