Sunday, April 15, 2007

Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, and Pasta Salad

I was feeling ambitious tonight. However, I did not make all of the dishes that I planned to make, partially because this pasta salad took longer than planned. It is possible that it was because I was chatting away on the phone while I was preparing it.
I would recommend this recipe to anyone with an herb garden. The salad was slightly expensive to make since the only things that I had available in my garden were the mint and lemon. The dressing is unique and creamy, which is a nice change from the standard Italian dressing or oil and vinegar.

Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, and Pasta Salad

Herb mixture:
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
12 mint leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup 2% low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

7 cups small broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups cooked medium seashell (about 4 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved

To prepare herb mixture, combine first 6 ingredients on a cutting board; finely chop, and reserve 3 tablespoons. Set remaining herb mixture aside.
To prepare the dressing, place the reserved 3 tablespoons herb mixture in a food processor. Drop 2 garlic cloves through the food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add cottage cheese and next 6 ingredients (cottage cheese through dash of pepper) to food processor; process until smooth. Stir in feta.

To prepare salad, steam broccoli, covered, 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Cool. Combine remaining herb mixture, broccoli, mushrooms, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss well.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 1/2 cups)

CALORIES 327(24% from fat); FAT 8.8g (sat 3g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 18.4g; CHOLESTEROL 14mg; CALCIUM 248mg; SODIUM 768mg; FIBER 7g; IRON 4.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 50g

Recipe can be found in 2000's Best of Cooking Light or

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