This Pasta Salad with Strawberries, Gouda and Fresh Basil is so light and refreshing. The perfect salad for a warm summer day. Great for picnics, bbq, pool parties or anytime you want a light meal. It just tastes like summer!
Wow! What a crazy week this has been! I feel like I have not been able to keep up. Which means my food choices have not been the greatest this week.
Today, I finally had a chance to get out and do some real grocery shopping. I have three stores that I tend to do my shopping at. Costco for the bulk stuff, Trader Joe’s for the unique stuff and wine and Fred Meyer (Kroger’s) for the staples.
My last stop for the day was at Trader Joe’s where they were doing some wine tasting. They had this wonderful Grenache Rose’ wine from the Rouge Valley in Oregon. A dry French style Rose’ that was deliciously fruity and bursting with flavors of strawberry, citrus and light floral notes.
I grabbed a couple of bottles and decided that this would be my inspiration for tonight’s meal.
Since it was a beautiful warm sunny day, a nice light salad would be the perfect fix. I had already purchased a container of fresh strawberries at Costco, I just needed to roam the aisles for further inspiration.
On one of the end caps they had a display with this gorgeous, colorful pasta. Pasta salad it is!
I picked up a few other ingredients that I thought would go nicely in my salad. Cheese, of course, and some fresh basil
This salad ended up being the perfect compliment to the Rose’ that I had bought. Make it a day ahead for the perfect weeknight summer meal or pack it up for your next picnic outing.
To serve: Place some of the pasta salad into individual bowls top with fresh basil sprig.
What to serve with this pasta salad?
- Lemony Whole Roasted Chicken
- Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken
- Pinot Noir, Garlic and Black Peppercorn Roasted Pork Loin
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Gris
- 1 pound multi-colored spiral pasta
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup torn fresh basil washed and patted dry
- 1/3 pound aged Gouda cheese cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives quartered into slivers
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente’. Drain cooked pasta and cool with cold running water. Toss with a little olive oil to prevent from sticking. In a large bowl combine cooled pasta, shallots, strawberries, basil, cheese and olives. In another bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.