Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked is hosting a gluten free summer barbecue. We were all asked to choose a letter of the alphabet, and I chose O - and the Budgie christened this Oregon Summer Pasta Salad, which seems perfect given that we are moving to Oregon this summer. Pasta salad is one of those things people assume us gluten-free folks can't have, but I am here to tell you I fed this to my parents, and even my dad, possibly more picky than a five-year-old, ate it happily. I hope you'll try it.
Oregon Summer Pasta Salad
1 bag Tinkyada pasta spirals
1 14 oz can pink salmon
handful cherry tomatoes
2 stalks celery, diced
3 TB capers
4 small sweet gherkins, diced
1 medium shallot, diced (about 3 TB)
2 tsp dijon mustard
3 TB good olive oil
4 heaping TB olive oil mayonnaise (I use Spectrum)
2 TB champagne vinegar
3 TB chopped Dill
fresh cracked pepper
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Cook the pasta past the point of al dente. If you don't, it will harden up in the fridge and be unpalatable. So definitely err on the side of overcooking this time. Tinkyada pasta holds up to quite a bit of overcooking, in my experience, especially sturdier shapes like this one. (If you're making this with non-gluten-free pasta, make it the way you usually would.)
While your pasta is cooking, chop all of your veggies. I like to chop everything, except the tomatoes, about the size of my largest capers. The tomatoes I like to slice in maybe 4 pieces each.
Drain your can of salmon. I then gently dump mine onto a plate or bowl and begin the oh-so- fun process of removing the skin and bones that are often canned in salmon. This stuff is actually fine to eat, and is great to keep in if you're making patties or a salmon loaf, but I don't like it in salad. So I pick it out. Flake the remaining salmon into nice pieces, not too small.
Drain your pasta, and rinse it well with very cool water to bring the temperature down.
Toss the pasta with half of your dressing. Add in the rest of your veggies and the salmon, and toss again, gently. Pour over the rest of the dressing until it is the consistency you like. Some people like theirs with more dressing, some less, so make it the way you like it. Top with extra black pepper and some more dill if you like, and enjoy your barbecue!