First of all, I’m so sorry this post is coming up so late! After kind of a crazy (crazy good, crazy not-so-good) weekend, the universe decided it was not done with us and I have had a heck of a time getting this recipe up. Can we all still be friends?
So my friend Dani (like the same Dani who gave me the Chicken Pot Pie recipe, and the same Dani who gave me the Linguine with Turkey Meatballs recipe) sent me this recipe a few weeks ago and I couldn’t WAIT to try it because I’ve seriously never tried a recipe she’s given me that I didn’t absolutely love. It’s such a unique twist on pasta salad, gourmet but easy, elegant but potluck or weeknight-worthy. Plus the dressing would be fabulous just to have hanging around in my fridge). The thing that surprised me most was that my favorite part was the plums; I like the idea of plums, but in reality, they’re usually too tart or mushy for me, but when they were roasted and paired with the savory ingredients of the pasta salad, especially the cheese, they were so incredibly delicious.
To make the salad part, you’ll need 1 pound of bowtie pasta, 1 pound of plums (not too ripe), 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (feta, if blue cheese gives you the heebie jeebies), 1 pound of chopped rotisserie chicken, and chopped fresh basil, chives, and flat-leaf parsley.
Cook the pasta al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat a cast iron pan (or a pan that is not non-stick if you don’t have a cast-iron pan) over medium-high heat. If the pan you’re using is oven-safe, heat the oven to 400. Cut the plums in half and discard the pit. Place them in a bowl
and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Gently toss to coat and then place the plums, flesh-side down, onto the hot pan. Sear until you get a nice, brown “crust” or grill marks, depending on the kind of pan you’re using.
If your pan is oven-safe, place it in the oven for about 5 minutes. Otherwise, turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the burner and the plums in the pan for 5-10 minutes so they can continue to soften slightly. When done cooking, place the plums in the refrigerator (or even the freezer) to cool down.
Chop the herbs
For the dressing, you’ll need extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, coarse-grain or Dijon mustard (whatever you prefer), and salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk together the ingredients and drizzle it over the salad. Toss to combine. Add the chilled plums and chill until ready to serve. This will make about 8-10 main dish servings or a whole bunch of smaller side-dish servings.
Pasta Salad with Roasted Chicken and Plums
Recipe shared with Our Best Bites from Dani Vest
1 lb. bowtie pasta, cooked al dente and chilled
1 lb. plums, halved and pitted
1 pound cold rotisserie chicken (I just used the breast), chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (or feta)
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse brown, Dijon, or honey Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the halved plums in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper and gently toss to evenly coat. Heat a cast iron (if you don’t have a cast iron pan, a stainless steel pan will work) pan over high heat. Place the plums, flesh side down, onto the pan and cook until browned. If desired, you can place the pan into an oven heated to 400 to continue to soften the plums. Otherwise, remove from heat and leave in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl and chill until ready to use.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, herbs, blue cheese, and chicken. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle them over the pasta mixture and toss evenly to coat. Remove the plums from the refrigerator and slice. Very gently fold them into the salad or just leave them on top. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 8-10 main dish servings and a lot of side dish servings