When your menu needs a side dish big on presentation and taste, include a pasta salad. With the wide variety of different pasta shapes available, you can create a distinctive pasta salad that will look appetizing on the table and taste even better. Add a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables and you'll have a crowd-pleasing dish that's packed with nutrition too. This recipe serves six to eight.
Boil 1 gallon of water in the stock pot. Add 1/2 tbsp. of salt to the boiling water, then slowly pour the pasta into the boiling water and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-high.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente, stirring occasionally, then remove the stockpot from the burner. Drain the pasta immediately but do not rinse it. Allow the pasta to cool while you prepare the vegetables.
Wash the broccoli, the cucumber, the carrot and the green onions.
Cut the broccoli into small florets with a paring knife and put them in a large bowl. Peel the cucumber, dice it and put it in the bowl. Peel the carrot, shred it with the cheese shredder and put it in the bowl. Dice the green onions (with the green tops) and the black olives and put them in the bowl.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in the small bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Toss the vegetables with a large spoon to evenly distribute the dressing.
Add the cooled pasta to the bowl of vegetables and toss again to incorporate all of the ingredients. Chill the pasta salad in the refrigerator for at least four hours prior to serving.