inspiration-driven kitchen: summer pasta salad

It’s no secret that community feeds my soul. So when I have the opportunity to feed others (literally, this time), I jump at the chance. Potlucks are fantastic for this — bring a little something, eat a little something, share a little something.

But does it ever feel like a 100% junk food smorgasbord? Delicious junk, but junk nonetheless. It’s appetizers in heavy sauces, chips in heavy seasonings, meats in heavy glazes, oh-so-sweet (and heavy) desserts. Oh friends, there’s a big place in my heart for all of that.

There’s also space at every potluck table, I think, for something a little less decadent.

And less decadent but equally delicious takes center stage especially in this season. A funny little thing happens to me as spring becomes summer: I stop craving heavy and start craving light. Light colors, light from the sun . . . and light flavors in the foods I eat and cook. You too?

Mr. S. and I found ourselves at a barbecue last Wednesday, and the hosts provided the meat. This was a great chance to try something lighter. And that’s what led to this lovely pasta salad. It’s a lighter alternative than the traditional-but-heavy, mayo-laden pasta salad. It’s a celebration of summer produce and summer flavors.

This, friends, is your summer pasta salad.

Corn, tomato and pesto pasta salad 


1 box (16 oz.) of your favorite pasta, prepared al dente
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (whatever size container the grocery store has?)
1 ear of corn
2 teaspoons pesto, fresh or from a jar
Generous splash of olive oil

To prepare corn: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roast corn, with husks and all, for 25-30 minutes, until soft. Once slightly cooled, carefully peel husks off. Slice corn from cob. Combine sliced tomatoes, pasta and corn in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine. In a smaller bowl, whisk olive oil and pesto to combine. Drizzle over pasta salad. Mix all ingredients (and add more olive oil if necessary).

Can be prepared ahead of time, but best eaten that day.

Serves four if a main dish; serves 10+ if a side.


3 thoughts on “inspiration-driven kitchen: summer pasta salad

  1. yum! I have a basil infused olive oil (there’s a fabulous olive oil store in Lawrence if I could ever convince you to step foot in that town with me haha) that would go wonderfully in something like this.

    • Now that we’re in the SEC . . . maybe I could stifle my pride, haha! Yes, we’ll go. And I bet that basil-infused olive oil would be fantastic!

  2. Pingback: on a sweet friend’s transition « inspiration-driven life

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