Pasta salads are infinitely flexible, delicious, and ready be dressed up. When I get a crush on a cheese or a vegetable the pasta salad plays impresario, showing off its charms. But I can get easily carried away; if goat cheese, why not Parmesan too? A handful of dried fruit, toasted pecans, three cruciferous vegetables, and a gilding of bacon, and pretty soon we're in the third ring of a salad circus.
While elaborate salads are delightful, there are times, like right now in picnic season, when it is better to strip it down to the basics and keep it simple. This reader favorite has a mere handful of ingredients, but they're winners — feta, olives, snap-tender broccoli, and colorful pasta. This is the easy pasta salad party you need this week.