Minestrone Salad

Recipes for a Casual Dinner Party

GMA Recipes Appetizer
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Not all dinner parties have to be swanky affairs with place cards and dessert forks.

You can organize a "come as you are" dinner party perfect for summer evenings, featuring quick and easy dishes plus casual footwear suitable for such a soiree.

Susan Spungen, contributing food and entertaining editor for Weekend magazine, recommends the following recipe.

Features all the ingredients of minestrone soup -- fresh vegetables, potatoes and pasta -- without the soup. Instead of a vinegar dressing, the salad is dressed with pesto. The salad can be tossed together on the morning of the party, just add the pesto right before you serve. Can also be served warm.


  • Minestrone
  • 12 oz. fingerling potatoes (or small new potatoes)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut the same size as the pasta
  • 1 lb. (gemelli, tubetti or other short pasta), cooked and rinsed
  • 1 cup pesto (recipe follows)
  • 1 can cannellini beans (15.5 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar roasted peppers (6 oz.), sliced into strips
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pesto Recipe
  • 1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • Cooking Directions

    Bring potatoes and cold water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from water, spread on a baking sheet and let cool. Slice into 1/2-inch coins.

    Bring a large saucepan of water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. Add green beans and asparagus and cook until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and place in a bowl of ice water until completely cool. Drain, pat dry.

    Toss together potatoes, pasta, pesto, green beans, asparagus, cannellini, peppers, and salt and pepper to taste.

    Pesto Recipe

    In a blender or food processor, blend basil, pine nuts, garlic and salt until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Pour pesto into a bowl and mix in the cheese with a wooden spoon. Makes about 1 cup.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: potatoes, asparagus, green beans, pesto

    Course: Appetizer/Starter, Pasta, Salad, Side Dish

    More Info: Vegetarian

    More Recipes You May Like
    Emeril's Signature Salad
    Simplified Version of Salad Served at Emeril's Restaurant in New Orleans
    The Cake Boss' Fennel and Apple Salad
    A Great Thanksgiving Salad
    Kalette's Orange Kalette Salad
    All-New Vegetable Hybrid
    Carla Hall's Lemon Dill Potato Salad
    A Summertime Lemony Salad
    Carla Hall's Southern chopped salad recipe
    Try this healthy salad with a twist!
    Carol Alt's Thai-Style Mango Salad
    A Sweet Salad With a Spicy Kick