Warm Pasta Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette, Smoked Chicken, Arugula and Summer Vegetables

Pair with SCHUG Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

  • 1 lb. hot, cooked pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 2 cups summer squash (any variety), cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, blanched
  • 3 cups diced smoked chicken breast, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 4 cups young arugula leaves, washed and dried
  • ½ cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette (see below)
  • ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Toss hot pasta in a large serving bowl with a small amount of olive oil, cover with foil. Set pasta aside till other salad ingredients are ready.

Prepare Vegetables: Turn broiler on to high. Cover a sheet pan with a layer of foil. Toss the cherry tomatoes in a small bowl with a tablespoon of the olive oil and a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Place the tomatoes on the sheet pan and place under broiler. Broil 2-3 minutes or until they begin to show dark spots, remove from broiler. Stir cherry tomatoes until their un-broiled sides turn up, then return them to the broiler for another minute or two or until they looked slightly charred. Remove from oven and turn broiler off.

Next, heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan and then add the summer squash. Quickly sauté the squash till it begins to brown slightly. Add the green beans and sauté till they are heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes to the sauté pan along with the squash and the beans and turn flame off.

Finish Salad: Remove foil cover from bowl of pasta, add the smoked chicken, arugula, vegetables in sauté pan, scallions, thyme and vinaigrette. Stir and toss all ingredients to coat them evenly with the dressing. Add ½ of the Parmesan cheese and half the parsley. Toss once more and divide salad amongst 6-8 plates. Top with remaining Parmesan and parsley and serve. Makes 6-8 servings.

Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 1½ cups salad oil

Whisk together the mustard, honey and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk in one cup of the salad oil in a fine, steady stream until fully incorporated. Taste the vinaigrette and add more salad oil to make the flavor milder if desired. Set vinaigrette aside till salad is done.

Cook’s Note: This is a very flexible recipe- many other ingredients can be added or substituted. Let your imagination be your guide!