Pear Pasta Salad

Pear Pasta Salad

Potlucks and picnics are upon us! This portable pear recipe adds a sweet twist to the perennial favorite: pasta salad. With a flavor-packed combination of just-ripe USA Pears complemented by salty salami, tart pickled peppers, fresh mozzarella, and crunchy cucumbers, it’s sure to surpass any pre-made offering you’d find at the deli counter. Plus, a lightened-up version of the classic creamy dressing, substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise, makes for a healthier summer feast.
INGREDIENTS
  • Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salad
  • 1 pound dried short pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, or farfalle
  • 2 firm but ripe red USA pears, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
  • 8 ounces bocconcini (bite-size fresh mozzarella balls)
  • 4 ounces sliced salami, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced pickled red peppers
  • 3 cups baby arugula
DIRECTIONS

To make the dressing: In a blender, combine the olive oil, yogurt, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Stir in the oregano. The dressing will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

To assemble the salad: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool to room temperature; drain well.

Place the pasta, pears, cucumber, bocconcini, salami, and pickled peppers in a very large bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. Toss in the arugula just before serving.

Recipe and Styling: Andrea Slonecker (@andreaslonecker)

Photography: George Barberis (@georgebarberis)

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