My son and I settled on steaks for our first grilling event of the season, along with one of our favorite pasta salads. The salad is super simple, comes together quickly and - like most salads - tastes even better on the second day.
Poppyseed Garden Pasta Salad
Serves: 4 (or 2 really big servings)
2 cups uncooked tri-color (garden) rotini pasta
1 medium - large tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small - medium cucumber, sliced and then cut into quarters
1 small red onion, sliced and then cut in half
poppyseed dressing (Brianna's is awesome on this salad!)
Fill a large saucepan with cold water, add a fair amount of salt (think salt water like the ocean), and bring the water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it well, and place the pasta in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I learned this tip from Aaron McCargo, Jr. of Food Network's Big Daddy's House. Chilling the pasta keeps it from absorbing the rest of the ingredients which can make for a dry salad.
While the pasta chills, cut up the tomato, cucumber, and red onion. Add to the pasta and pour poppyseed dressing over the pasta and vegetables. Everyone has different tastes, so I'll let you decide how much dressing to put on your salad. Mix well. I don't usually add salt or pepper because the dressing is so good, but you certainly can. Just give the salad a taste before serving and adjust accordingly.