Summer is finally in sight and that means grills, cookouts, and yummy foods that are easy and do not require heating up the oven! Let's face it, summer is so short that no one wants to waste that beautiful weather cooking in the kitchen.
This is one of my favorite recipes for summer. It will keep for several days (if you can keep from eating it all in one sitting, that is), it is super easy and it has yet to be turned down by anyone! The best part is, you can make just the pasta salad as a side dish, which is what I usually do. Even my picky preschooler likes it!
Party Pasta Salad
1/2 Cup red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Finely chopped garlic to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, cooked according to package and drained
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pitted black olives (I leave these out because I don't like olives!)
Marinated Chicken Breast
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
Dash of freshly grated ginger root or ground ginger to taste
1 (8-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Sprigs of parsley or basil, for garnish
1. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, oil, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the pasta, tomato, Parmesan cheese, and olives and toss to thoroughly combine. Let the salad stand for 1 hour. Serve on top of lettuce leaves.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the teriyaki sauce and ginger. Add the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
4. Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch wide strips and place them on top of the pasta. Garnish with sprigs of parsley or basil.