lemon basil pesto pasta salad with scorched garlic tomatoes

Grab a bowl and get yourself a load of this Lemon Basil Pesto Pasta Salad with Scorched Garlic Tomatoes. You guys… this might just be the best pasta salad ever invented! Just think of your classic pasta salad but with a super tangy lemon basil pesto dressing that just goes sooooo well with all your veggies. Add on some caramel-delicious golden garlic tomatoes, grab a tall glass of something cold, and you’ve got yourself the perfect lunch or dinner for a hot summers day!

It’s finally decided to get warmer here in the UK, and I’m all about cold dinners. Unfortunately, one can eat too many salads, so jazzing things up with a pasta salad is DEFINITELY going to be a common occurrence in this house. I absolutely adore this recipe and it’s super simple and quick to make. You can’t go wrong! Just think zesty, fresh, tangy, garlicky, and everything else summer you can think of. I paired this Lemon Basil Pesto Pasta Salad with a talllll glass of Zesty Peppermint Lemonade, and it was the perfect cooler to enjoy during the heat of the day.

First thing you’re gonna want to do is make sure that all of your produce is fresh and organically grown. This is super important to me, ESPECIALLY given the recent catastrophic events going on around the globe because of climate change and global warming. Growing your food organically is a MUST and it really needs to become the norm, and soon. Non-organically grown crops are sprayed with artificial fertilisers and pesticides that do nothing but damage the soil the crops are growing in, the surrounding critters (bees, in particular), and not to mention the number of greenhouse gases emitted upon manufacture and storage! You’ve got to consider: “are these chemicals really safe to use on our food if we have to wear hazmat suits whilst spraying them?!

You can learn all about the importance of buying and growing organic food and food sustainability by reading these blog posts:

Sustainability Series: Food

Sustainability Series: Gardening

Now that we’ve got our organically grown produce, we can get down to making this delicious, conscious summer’s meal. First, cook your choice of pasta according to the instructions. For this recipe, I used elbow macaroni, but you could use conchiglie, farfalle, orzo, or any other small pasta you like. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it through a sieve and run cold water over it all to cool it down and prevent it from sticking together for easier mixing.

To make the dressing, add all of your dressing ingredients to a bowl and stir everything together until fully combined and super smooth. For this recipe, I used a vegan basil pesto, which used tofu instead of cheese. I absolutely love these types of pesto, and they’re easily found in the supermarket or you can easily make your own (let me know if you’d like to see a homemade vegan basil pesto recipe from me)!

Now that the dressing has been made, let’s get to the piece de resistance – the scorched garlic tomatoes! For me, these tomatoes really just finish off the dish in the perfect way and add another layer of flavour. Grab yourself some oil, and fry that garlic until it is absolutely golden and delicious (I like to char mine a little). Add in the tomatoes cut side down and cook for a couple minutes until they start to caramelise. Then you’re gonna want to turn them over and continue to cook them until the skins pop and become wrinkly. They are soooooo good so you definitely can’t skip this step.

Now we can assemble the salad…

You can add any veggies you want to this recipe, but for this iteration I decided to use freshly picked lettuce and spinach from my garden, some leftover sweetcorn, and homegrown baby cucumbers. Roughly chop up your veggies and add them to a large bowl along with the pasta and most of the dressing. Mix everything together with a couple of spoons until everything is super well combined, well tossed and covered in that delicious dressing. Serve into bowls, top with those beautiful garlic tomatoes, add a drizzle more dressing and you’re ready to go!

Just like that you have a super simple, super quick to make, and super tasty lunch or dinner for a hot summer’s day! If you make this Lemon Basil Pesto Pasta Salad with Scorched Garlic Tomatoes make sure you leave a like and a comment down below! I absolutely love hearing from you guys, and you can be sure that I’ll try my best to get back to you soon! And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @amongsttheflour I love seeing the photos of recipes you’ve all made!

Have a beautiful weekend, happy July, and I wish you a safe and warm Summer! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Katherine x

Lemon Basil Pesto Pasta Salad with Scorched Garlic Tomatoes

Ingredients

For the lemon basil pesto dressing

  • 4 tbsp vegan basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp vegan salad cream
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried basil, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the scorched garlic tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pasta salad

  • 250g elbow macaroni, cooked and cooled
  • 2 cups fresh salad leaves
  • 200g tinned sweetcorn, drained
  • ½ large cucumber or 2 small cucumbers, chopped

Method

To make the lemon basil pesto dressing

  1. In a small bowl, add the pesto, salad cream, vinegar, basil, and lemon juice. Stir everything together until fully combined and creamy. Set aside for later.

To make the scored garlic tomatoes

  1. In a frying pan, add the oil and heat on medium high. Add in the garlic and sauté for 2-5 minutes, or until the garlic is very golden brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes to the pan chopped side down and leave to cook on one side for 3-5 minutes until the surface is nicely golden.
  3. Give the tomatoes a stir and continue to cook them until they pop and the skin begins to wrinkle, around another 5 minutes. Once cooked, set aside for later.

To make the pasta salad

  1. Into a large bowl, add the cooked and cooled pasta, salad leaves, sweetcorn, and cucumber (or other veggies). Pour over the dressing and toss really well until everything is fully coated and well combined.
  2. Serve into bowls and top with any leftover dressing and the scorched garlic tomatoes. Enjoy with a fresh glass of Zesty Peppermint Lemonade and enjoy!

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