I picked too many cucumbers… I said I wouldn’t, but there I was in the fields picking away. In my defense, I put way too much effort into trying to calculate how many cukes I would need for pickles. And the recipe was in cups…who measures cucumber spears by the cup?! How are you even supposed to do that? So I thought, by all of my calculations (which required a pen and paper, it was legit I am telling you!) I needed 80 cucumbers. FALSE! I needed like 40 or less. And I ended up with 30 jars of pickles with a plan of only 15. Mega fail. So, suffice it to say, I have cucumbers out the ying yang right now. And this awesome pasta salad swallowed up 3 cups worth! (If only that made a dent….)
Now, let me just say this… this isn’t the first time we have had mass quantities of cucumbers. The first year we canned pickles the same exact thing happened. We started getting VERY creative with how we could eat up cucumbers. We had them at every meal. We even tried making an alcoholic drink with them. It was disastrous. And the drink was totally disgusting. So this year, I am sticking to more of the basics. Pasta salad? Heck yes. And I made a heaping batch of cucumber dill dip. That ate up about a third of the cucumbers I’ve got laying around. I will not be mixing them with alcohol this time around, I still have nightmares about that drink. (and if you like cucumber-ey drinks, sorry if that offends you) So, if you have any ideas up your sleeve, shoot ’em at me please!!!
So, I know you are probably thinking “shut up already about the cucumbers” what about this pasta salad?! Well, sorry, I had to share my pain with someone. But, moving on, this pasta salad needs to be at your next picnic or get together. It is totally summer all the way. And, it is super healthy! I stuffed it with tons of veggies so you won’t even feel bad about eating a little pasta and cheese. And did I mention it is whole wheat noodles anyways, so eat up! Then I mixed up my own dressing for it because if you look at the ingredients on store bought dressing, it gets a little too sketchy for my liking. Plus, making your own dressing is SO EASY. You have everything you need in your pantry and it takes about 30 seconds. So please make your own : ) Now this makes a large batch, it is party sized, if you are making it just for yourself and hubby, you might want to cut it in half. Or not, I made a full batch for just me and Matt. This is our lunch for the week with local cherries, a local nectarine, and a (non local lol) banana to get us through the work day!
- 16 ounces whole wheat noodles (we used fusilli, but any noodle you like will work)
- 3 cups chopped cucumber
- 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 3 cups chopped broccoli
- 2 chopped green bell peppers
- 12 ounces cheese, cubed (we used half cheddar, half colby jack)
- ¾ cups olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons italian blend herbs
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Cook pasta to al dente per instructions on box. Drain and set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic, Italian herbs, and balsamic vinegar until well combined.
- In a large bowl, mix together cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, cheese, and pasta.
- Add the dressing to the pasta salad and stir until everything is coated.
- Serve chilled.