I think I've spent so much time making bread and desserts and trying to make them well, that there's not enough brain power left over at times for creating other things like salads. It has actually benefited me to be standing in the kitchen at 4:00 wondering what I was going to be fixing for dinner for the in-laws. Something about that pressure causes me to get creative and try to think outside my little world instead of getting lazy and putting potatoes in the microwave.
One night I was looking through my pantry and saw a new package of Tinkyada spirals. I then remembered a Kraft salad mix I used to buy (in my other life - before kids and when we didn't really know the definition of gluten). I also happened to have a bowl of tomatoes from the garden just asking to be used. Now, lest you think I'm Martha Stewart with my home-grown tomatoes, think again. Our garden is overgrown with weeds and very few things that are actually edible. A good combination of bad soil and neglect has produced squat this summer.
Fortunately, all this easy salad needs is some fresh tomato, olives, italian-type dressing and parmesan cheese. We happen to have those items on hand most of the time. And okay, I know the title says this is a summer dish and it is technically fall. However, today is warm and that's all it takes to enjoy a cold dish.
This salad really tastes best fresh and you might want to add the dressing right before serving so it doesn't get absorbed by the pasta. In fact, the ingredients besides the pasta are so flavorful, you can probably get away with a drizzle of the dressing at the most. Top last minute with the parmesan cheese. Grill up some meat to go with it and you have a perfect summer(time) meal.
Tinkyada gluten free spirals (any GF spirals will do!)
Cook pasta according to directions. Don't forget to check frequently right before they are done. GF pasta is very particular about getting done just right. There's a small window between "done" and "mush". Add as many diced tomatoes and olives as you would like. Add the parmesan cheese and dressing right before serving. Serves eight.