I keep this (or a version of it) in the fridge this time of year. When the days (and therefore, our schedules) are longer, it’s an awesome side dish to have on-hand at supper time and makes a great light lunch. The kids just eat around any ingredients they don’t like.
I change it up a bit, adding whichever veggies look good or are on sale at the market. This is just a good base recipe for the amount of pasta and salad dressing. Feel free to make it however you like!
I call it Picnic Pasta Salad because this is what I like to bring to picnics, barbeques or covered-dish events during the spring or summer since it doesn't have any mayonnaise or mayonnaise-based dressing, you don’t have to stress too much over keeping it cold.
Picnic Pasta Salad
1 pound rotini pasta, uncooked
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 6-oz. jar green olives, drained and halved
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/3 cups Italian salad dressing (I use Kraft's Zesty Italian)
Cook pasta per manufacturer’s instructions for al dente preparation in liberally salted water. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water until pasta is cool to the touch. Drain well.
Combine pasta with remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For an Italian version, omit the cucumbers and green olives and add:
Black olives and/or diced green peppers
For a Greek version, omit the green onions, green olives and Italian dressing and add: