I got the idea for this salad last week with some leftover pasta and vegetables. I had just gotten home from a photography class that finally, after years of putting off, I decided to take. Shooting in “auto” mode is just not an option for me with the kind of food images I need to capture. So, for the past month I’ve been studying about depth of field, aperture, exposure, f-stops, shutter speed, white balance and all the nifty things my Nikon camera can do that I had absolutely no idea about until now! Only problem is, photography has now become an obsession, which makes my family both happy (to see me excited about something I love) and extremely irritated at the same time. They are mostly eating cold food because I will cook something and photograph it over and over before I allow them to even step foot in the kitchen. And when you’re learning to shoot manual…that can take a looong time! I’m lucky they love me.
Needless to say, I was hungry when I got home the other day and just threw this salad together. It was so delicious (and visually pleasing) I wanted to share the recipe with you.
Sometimes people shy away from zucchini unless it’s cooked, but it’s actually quite good raw. Sliced thin, like the ribbons I made for this salad, zucchini adds beautiful color and texture. One of the keys to keeping it healthy is by making your own homemade salad dressing. It really doesn’t take much time to mix vinegar, oil and seasoning together in a jar. Those few minutes can cut hundreds of milligrams of sodium and harmful artificial ingredients from your meal without sacrificing any flavor. I always remind people when using fresh, quality ingredients you don’t need much to make it taste good.
Whole Wheat Fusilli Pasta Salad with Zucchini Ribbons
- 3/4 cup cooked whole wheat fusilli pasta
- 1 heaping cup salad greens
- 2-3 radishes sliced thin
- 1/3 cup garbanzo beans
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 small zucchini cut in half lengthwise then sliced (using a potato peeler)
Balsamic Herb Dressing
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. dried italian herbs
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Combine ingredients for salad in large bowl. Whisk together dressing and add to bowl (*note that this dressing recipe will probably yield more than is necessary for this salad). Toss to coat the salad.