This salad is a creamy umami bomb of earthy deliciousness that's perfect for dinner or lunch — and for leftovers the next day! Pasta is tossed with shredded kale, blanched broccoli and zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and plenty of fresh herbs, then topped with a simple, healthy, and citrus-y dressing. It's easy to prepare and can be done the day before so it's ready to go when you want.
Garden Picnic Pasta Salad with Veggies, Herbs, and Orange-Miso Tahini Dressing [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Salad:
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 2 cups bite-sized broccoli florets
- 1 cup coarsely diced onion
- 3 cups lightly packed bite-size, hand-torn kale (rinsed and cleaned)
- 1 pound whole grain or gluten-free fusilli pasta, cooked and rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup lightly packed coarsely chopped parsley
- 1/4 lightly packed coarsely chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups orange-miso tahini dressing (recipe below)
For the Orange-Miso Tahini Dressing:
- 1 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup white miso
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
To Make the Salad:
- Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full of water, bring to boil, and add zucchini, broccoli, and onion. Blanch 3 minutes until tender and the colors pop vibrantly. Just before draining, mix in torn kale. Remove from heat, strain, and rinse with cold water until cooled.
- In a large bowl, combine freshly cooled, rinsed, and drained pasta, chickpeas, cooked and raw vegetables, pine nuts, herbs, garlic, and half the dressing. Mix in additional dressing until creamy and the consistency you like. Save leftover dressing for later use, to refresh, or to serve on the side.
To Make the Dressing:
- Add all ingredients to bowl or blender and mix well to incorporate. May be done the night before and can keep in the refrigerator for a couple weeks.
The dressing makes 3 cups.