Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pot-luck salads

After two days of feeling pretty good and almost normal I'm back to feeling kind of crummy again.  Although I really can't complain too much, because so many people have morning sickness so much worse than what I'm experiencing.  Tonight I made a couple of trusty cookout side dishes for tomorrow evening.  We will be going straight from work to a cookout to celebrate our friend Katie's birthday (happy early birthday Katie!).  I assembled both dishes, leaving the crunchy items (nuts, sesame seeds, and ramen noodles) on the side, to be stirred in just before serving, so they don't get soggy sitting in the fridge for 24 hours until the party.

I have a list of side dishes that can be served at room temperature, that are easy to prepare, and that crowds usually love.  Every time we go to a pot-luck I try to rotate between some of these tried and true favorites.  For tomorrow I decided upon Asian Coleslaw and Pesto Pasta Salad.  Both recipes are super easy, and super delicious!

Pesto Pasta Salad

For a different twist cheese tortellini could be used instead of the penne here, and the mozzarella could then be eliminated.  Sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or artichoke hearts would also be a great addition to this salad.  This really is delicious warm or cold, but for a pot-luck it's usually easier to make ahead of time and then served chilled.

-1 box whole wheat penne pasta, cooked to al dente
-1 cup pesto sauce (store bought or make your own)
-1 cup pine nuts, toasted (not in the picture because I won't be adding them until tomorrow night)
-1 package grape tomatoes, sliced in half
-1 package boccocini, or 1 cup cubed soft mozzarella (use the good stuff here, it makes a difference)

Combine all ingredients and chill until serving.

What are your favorite "go to" pot-luck dishes?


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