In an effort to make as many cold noodle salads as possible before summer ends, I present to you this fluffy, tasty spiralized pasta salad.
Through trial and error, I realized that cashew and balsamic really go well together.
Who would have known!
Speaking of cashew and balsamic, there’s a disclaimer that goes along with this recipe.
To make sauces creamier without adding, well, cream, it’s common in the health food world to add blended cashews. However, first, you must soak the cashews (for at least 2 hours), then drain and then blend.
If you skip this step, the cashews won’t break down well enough and they’ll have a gritty, grainy texture.
Of course, when I was making this recipe, I forgot to pre-soak the cashews that morning. Thus, when I went to make this tasty dressing, the texture was off (you can probably tell in the pictures, right?)
However, that doesn’t make this recipe any less delicious – and actually, I kinda liked the texture – it added a little oomph to this simple pasta salad.
This pasta salad saves well in the refrigerator, just leave the dressing and the “pasta” separate and combine once you arrive to your party or when your party arrives. If you’re making it for lunch, do the same – keep the dressing and the pasta separated. This is a great rule of thumb for all spiralized meals that include zucchini noodles.
Also, let’s not talk about the fact that Labor Day weekend is in a little more than 2 weeks. How is this possible?!
Now to get to that summer bucket list…. what’s on yours?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 8 points
- For the dressing:
- ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- ¼ cup cashew milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon country Dijon mustard
- For the salad:
- ½ cup mozzarella pearls (the “little ones”)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, Blade A, noodles trimmed
- 1 large zucchini, Blade B, noodles trimmed
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- Drain the cashews and then place them, along with the rest of the dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy. Taste and adjust, if necessary. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper for the salad. Then, drizzle over the dressing and toss everything to mix well. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the pine nuts.
- Place a small skillet over medium heat. Once skillet is heated, add in the pine nuts and toast for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
- Divide the salad into bowls and top with pine nuts.