Bright and healthy, this Vegan Summer Pasta Salad is filled with flavourful vegetables and tossed in an apple cider and olive oil vinaigrette.
A Bright Vegan Summer Pasta Salad
A beautiful pasta salad should be colourful and bursting with the flavours of crisp seasonal veg. This Vegan Summer Pasta Salad checks all the boxes.
It uses a quality pasta, in this case an Italian-made spaghetti. It also features an array of vegetables with differing textures and colours. And it has a simple yet flavourful dressing that enhances (and doesn’t overpower) the flavours of all the ingredients.
This Vegan Summer Pasta Salad features:
•Two flavours of radish
This recipes uses red radishes, the common radish with a crisp texture and a spicy flavour. It also uses watermelon radishes, a lovely heirloom variety of Chinese daikon radish. Watermelon radishes have a bright pink interior and green skin.
Radishes are actually members of the mustard family and give a firm, crunchy and peppery punch of flavour to this dish.
•A quality store-bought artisanal spaghetti.
Not all store-bought pastas are created equal. An Italian grocer will carry a fine array of dried pastas that taste almost as good as homeade.
These artisan pastas like La Bottega brand are dried slowly, which is why they taste better.
A slow-dried artisan pasta will have a nice al dente bite yet easily dissolves into a creamy paste as you chew and mixes with the sauce to create an incredible, lush texture.
Using a hand vegetable peeler, create delicate little ribbons of carrot. They’re so lovely looking in a dish, and they also give a lighter texture to your salad. Since they’re long and thinly shaved, the carrot ribbons feel smoother on the palette, rather than big hunks in your salad that you have to crunch on.
•Iceberg lettuce and mixed greens
Iceberg lettuce is key to this Vegan Summer Pasta Salad. it gives a cool crunch and mixes so well with the carrot and spaghetti. You can use any mix of lettuces you’f like but you won’t be disappointed using the iceberg variety as the star of the show!
•Apple Cider & Olive Oil Vinaigrette
Apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper make up the simple vinaigrette for your pasta salad.
Tips for Assembling Your Pasta Salad
•Be sure to cook your pasta only to al dente. You don’t want mushy pasta!
•Ensure that you fully dry your iceberg lettuce and greens. You can choose to use a salad spinner to get your greens dried quickly. Or, simply throw them in a tea towel and spin it around in the air. This method also works great!
(If you don’t fully dry your lettuces, the water in these vegetables will really dilute the flavours in your salad, leaving your a bland and water-y dish).
•Toss your salad thoroughly so that the heavier vegetables don’t remain stuck at the bottom!
•Start off by drizzling a small amount of dressing on your pasta salad and toss. Then increase the amount to taste. A salad should be lightly kissed with dressing, not drenched!
•Leave some watermelon radishes to sprinkle on top of your pasta salad. They’re a beautiful pop of colourful to garnish your dish.
Vegan Summer Pasta Salad
- 1/2 package spaghetti 250 grams
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce washed and dried
- 3 cups greens such as arugala and mixed lettuces
- 2 carrots ribboned
- 4-6 red radishes washed and dried
- 4-6 watermelon radishes washed and dried
Apple Cider & Olive Oil Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/4 tsp mustard
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.
- Drain pasta and rinse well under cold water until chilled and add to a large salad bowl.
- Wash, dry and chop icerberg lettuce and add to salad bowl. Add washed greens to bowl.
- Wash and peel carrots. Discard first layer of peelings. Continue to peel the clean carrots into long ribbons and add to salad bowl.
- Wash and slice radishes and add most to bowl. Set aside a small portion.
- Toss salad very well.
Apple Cider & Olive Oil Vinaigrette
- In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the contents of the bowl and continue to whisk until the dressing is emulsified.
- Drizzle a small portion on your pasta salad and toss. Then add more dressing to taste until salad is 'kissed' with the vinaigrette but not smothered in it!
- Garnish salad with remainder of sliced radishes.
- Keep remainder of your dressing in the refrigerator.
Looking for more vegan salad ideas? Try our Pearl Couscous Spring Salad recipe!