Friday, July 12, 2013

BLT pasta salad with cucumber, broccoli and avocado

Creamy pasta with bacon, tomato, cucumber, broccoli and avocado. 










Need a go-to summer BBQ salad that's a cinch to make? Try this BLT pasta with cucumber, broccoli and avocado. It takes 25 minutes to throw together and with the creamy bacon-y goodness is sure to please a crowd. (Truth be told, even without the bacon-y goodness, it's pretty damn tasty.)

Preparing this pasta also lets you practice multi-tasking as to be maximally efficient, you need to boil the pasta, cook the bacon and chop the produce all at the same time. Don't worry, it's not as busy as it sounds!

Adapted from "Susi's Cooking and Baking Adventures," this BLT pasta
with cucumber, broccoli and avocado serves a dozen at least.  
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes (fridge time)
Serves: 12+
Skill level: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound pasta such as rotini or radiatore (pasta with lots of ridges to hold the sauce)
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped (alternatively, 2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half)
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2-3/4 cup light sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill (or 2 teaspoons dried, but really, use fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Lots of fresh cracked pepper

  • Directions:

    1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente
    2. While pasta boils, cook the bacon until crispy. I usually do this in the oven (see here for directions) for easy clean-up and to reduce my workload.
    3. While bacon and pasta cook (see what I mean about multi-tasking?), prepare the veggies
    4. Mix mayo, sour cream, lemon juice and all the spices together until smooth
    5. Just before pasta is done, add broccoli to pot and let it blanch for no more than a minute
    6. Drain pasta and broccoli, running under cold water until both are cool
    7. Chop bacon into 1/2 inch pieces
    8. Stir together pasta, veggies (except avocado and tomato), bacon and sauce; Refrigerate until you're ready to serve
    9. Before serving add avocado and tomatoes, adjust spices to taste

    Notes:
    1. It just occurred to me that this recipe could seriously benefit from some red onion.
    2. I've experimented with a full cup mayo, and with 1/2 mayo, 1/2 sour cream. They both taste good, so I sub in the sour cream to reduce fat/calories
    3. Refrigerated tomatoes get mushy and weird which is why I add them right before serving. No one will die in the making of this salad if you add the tomato and avocado with the other veggies and refrigerate together.

    xoxo,
    shawna

    Other yummy summer recipes:

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