During the summer I consume my fair share of pasta salad. Whether I’m making one for a quick, no-hassle lunch or serving it alongside grilled chicken and corn on the cob for dinner on the patio, pasta salad seems to make it’s way to my table over and over again throughout the season.
Pasta salad is an easily customizable dish that works well served alongside just about anything. The hard part isn’t deciding to make it, but rather which version. Are you in the mood for a classic recipe covered in a mayo-based dressing? What about a crowd pleasing buffalo chicken pasta salad? Maybe the family wants to incorporate some Mexican flavors like black beans, salsa, and lots of fresh cilantro. Pasta is a blank canvas and the flavour combinations are truly endless.
This tortellini pasta salad is one of my favourites and it’s full of Italian flavours. Mix cheesy tortellini (the only thing better than pasta is pasta filled with cheese) with artichokes, olives, tomatoes, salami (like Genoa), and red onion then dress with a simple homemade Italian dressing. You can whip one up in no time using your Hamilton Beach® Single-Serve Blender. Chill for a few hours (or even overnight) in the refrigerator and let all of those Italian flavours marry before serving.
Top this hearty pasta salad with a little extra parmesan and some fresh-from-the-garden basil for a tasty summer side. And the best part about pasta salad? If you’re lucky enough to have some leftover, it’s even better the next day. Put leftovers in the kid’s lunches or munch on it at work for an Italian lunch that isn’t pizza (for once).
Do you like ice cream sandwiches? What about milkshakes? We put two these two summer favourites together to make an Ice Cream Sandwich Milkshake.
Three scoops of your favourite vanilla ice cream, ½ cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of Nutella or hot fudge sauce (or both. Why not?) and one ice cream sandwich broken into small pieces goes into the drink mixer to make this over-the-top milkshake.
This shake tastes exactly like an ice cream sandwich. And to make it that much better, we garnished it with a mini ice cream sandwich (we just cut an extra ice cream sandwich into squares with a sharp knife). There’s no wait for the ice cream truck when you can make this in your drink mixer now.
There are a few dishes that automatically come to mind when I’m meal planning in the summertime – burgers, kebabs, thick, juicy steaks. You know, the foods that – in my mind – should definitely have grill marks.
There really is nothing better than a hot burger that drops straight from the grill spatula onto your bun, but don’t forget about fruits and vegetables during grilling season. Grilled fruits like pineapple slices and peaches (maybe topped with a scoop of your favorite ice cream) make simple, seasonal desserts, while grilling a variety of vegetables like corn and lettuce can upgrade your summer side dish recipes instantly.
This grilled romaine caesar is a prime example of why veggies should absolutely go on the grill. We grilled sliced heads of romaine lettuce on the Hamilton Beach® Searing Grill to make a summer salad that doesn’t start with potato or macaroni.
Preheat the grill to medium-high and slice the romaine lengthwise through the root end. Leaving the root end in tact will help keep the leaves together as it grills. Brush the romaine halves lightly with olive oil and grill for about 2 to 4 minutes until the lettuce is charred and slightly wilted.
We drizzled our grilled romaine with homemade Caesar dressing that we whipped up in no time in the Hamilton Beach® single serve blender. We finished the salad with crumbled bacon (you will never – and should never – eat a Caesar without bacon again) and cracked black pepper. A squeeze of lemon, shaved parmesan, or even a sprinkle of your favorite croutons would also pair wonderfully with these grilled greens.
If you’re already grilling burgers, throw romaine alongside for an easy side salad or serve this grilled salad alone for a light summer lunch – no salad spinner or tossers necessary.
Tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil is one of those perfect combinations for any time of year. Usually, I lightly dress my caprese with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and call it a day. The Test Kitchen wanted to put a (literal) twist on this classic dish using the 3-in-1 Electric Spiralizer.
Using your spiralizer, spiralize 2 seedless cucumbers using the ribbon disc. Arrange the cucumber ribbons, red and yellow cherry tomatoes (or any garden-fresh, seasonal tomatoes you have on hand), and mozzarella balls on salad plates or in a serving dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then prepare your vinaigrette.
We used our single-serve blender to make our dressing – remember, blenders aren’t only meant for smoothies. In the blender, combine olive oil, white vinegar, garlic, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth then drizzle over your colourful caprese. We added yet another pop of colour and summer flavor by sprinkling fresh basil to finish the dish.
The red and yellow tomatoes pop next to the soft green cucumber ribbons. The addition of mozzarella cheese takes care of the salt and creaminess you crave and the basil ties it all together into a perfect summer side dish. Serve as a side at a backyard barbecue or alongside grilled fish for a light, seasonal dinner on the patio.