Even though we already covered the perfect Gluten Free Mother’s Day Brunch Menu, I’ve got a last minute addition. Gluten free pasta salad with mayonnaise is not my thing. If it’s your thing, I love you still. (I never loved you for your salad tastes anyway.) This gluten free pasta salad is mostly about the roasted shallot vinaigrette, but it stands squarely on the shoulders of properly boiled gluten free pasta. Make your gluten free pasta the right way, and you’re free to enjoy it in a cold salad. It’s all in the technique, baby.[pinit]
Add some cubed salami and a few olives, it’s an Italian gluten free pasta salad. Just like that. Amazing! Serve it over some lettuce, maybe, and double up on the dressing, why don’t you?
The vinaigrette is a simple mustard vinaigrette, but its real depth of flavor comes from the slowly roasted shallots.
You can saute the shallots in a skillet instead of roasting them in the oven, but you are much more likely to burn them that way before they get soft and sweet enough. And good news! The shallots can easily be roasted ahead of time.
Unlike gluten free baking, gluten free cooking means you can play with the ingredients. Don’t like bell peppers? Leave them out! Prefer cilantro to parsley? Sub it right in. You get the idea. Oh, and one tip: You can make any homemade vinaigrette dressing you like with a simple ratio of 3 to 1, oil to acid (like vinegar or lemon juice). Never buy dressing again!
Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
1 pound spiral-shaped dried gluten free pasta (penne would work just fine, too)
1/2 pound shallots, peeled and halved
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
2 teaspoons dijon mustard (I used whole grain dijon), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces asiago cheese, diced
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small yellow sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
2 handfulls fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
First, roast the shallots (this step can be done ahead of time and refrigerated once cool). Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the shallots on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two sheets of regular foil, stacked) about 10 inches square. Drizzle the shallots with about 1 tablespoon of the 3/4 cup olive oil, and toss them to coat. Gather the edges of the foil over the shallots into a packet, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the shallots are tender. Open the packet and continue to roast for another 10 minutes or until the shallots are just beginning to brown very lightly around the edges. Remove the shallots from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Cook the pasta according to my directions on how to boil gluten free pasta the right way, to serve cold. Place in a large bowl (you don’t want to crowd the pasta or it will clump and stick), toss with a bit of oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Set the bowl aside.
Make the dressing. Place the remaining olive oil, vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, salt and cooled roasted shallots in a blender and blend until smooth. The shallots should be completely broken down, and the dressing emulsified. Taste the dressing and add more salt, honey and/or mustard to taste.
Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, place the cooked pasta, asiago cheese, tomatoes, and sweet bell peppers and toss to combine. Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing, and toss to combine. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the parsley, and toss again to combine. Store covered at room temperature until ready to serve.