At our cocktail party after the beach seafood boil a couple weeks ago, we wanted to have an easy dish to serve up to our guests. You may be wondering how they even had room left in their bellies after an afternoon of crab, shrimp, mussels and lobsters. Well, trust us, there’s always room. Having just received several sample bottles in the mail from Girard’s Salad Dressings, we thought a cold pasta salad would do just the trick. We could prep all of the ingredients individually and just toss them together just before serving. We decided to use the Peach Mimosa Vinaigrette because it was one of the most interesting varieties amongst the group. The dressing is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and we thought summertime peaches would pair beautifully with it. From there, everything just fell together in unison.
This salad combines the sweet and savory aspects that we enjoy frequently and share often through this website. Caramelized peaches, crisp bacon, bright basil and fresh mozzarella work very well together if you didn’t know. In the end, they created a very easy salad that still tastes good hot or cold. Lucky for us, we already had the pasta boiled, peaches and bacon cooked and mozzarella sliced prior to the party, so all we had to do was toss in the basil and drizzle dressing throughout. Mission accomplished! You can even mix everything together the day before. The flavors will meld even better, and there will be nothing to do the day of other than plate and go.
Courtesy of our friends at Girard’s, we’re having another giveaway! This one is easy. Just leave a comment to this post expressing your favorite salad dressing flavor, whether it’s bottled or homemade. Two lucky folks will win a prize package for Girard’s Salad Dressing filled with the brand’s three newest flavors–Apple Poppyseed, Creamy Balsamic, Peach
Mimosa–and the signature Champagne. You have until Thursday, August 19 at 11:59 PM PST before the contest ends, so enter enter enter! We’ll announce the winner via Twitter on Friday, August 21. Here’s to good salad eatin’!
Caramelized Peach and Bacon Pasta – Serves 14 to 16
2 pounds penne pasta, cooked
1 1/2 cups Girard’s Peach Mimosa Vinaigrette
1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped
6 medium peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rum
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced*
10 large leaves fresh basil, sliced
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the peaches. Sprinkle the brown sugar and rum over the fruit and cook until they begin to brown and the sugar thickens, approximately 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Pour the pasta into a very large bowl and toss with the dressing, salt and pepper. Fold in the cooked peaches, bacon, onion, mozzarella and basil.
*Another great cheese for this salad is gorgonzola. A little goes a long way, so try sprinkling 1 1/2 cups of sharp gorgonzola throughout, and you’re guaranteed a mix of sweet and tangy.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.