Beach parties are kind of like picnics without ants (usually) but with the added risk of dropping your food in the sand. So the perfect beach party food would be guaranteed not to fall — but I don’t think I can manage to invent it, at least not with a limit of four ingredients. So here’s something that tastes good, travels well, and is a main dish in a bowl (or a mason jar). Also, it’s in little pieces, so if you drop a forkful, you’ve still got the rest. This is also very Mediterranean, so you can pretend, for a little while, that you’re on the Riviera.
Back to that mason jar for a minute — you can use them to transport any salad. Green salads can be layered, starting with the dressing and ending with the lettuce or other greens — just shake the jar before you empty it onto your plate.You can bake cupcakes in the extra small jars too — when the weather cools off a little. Mason jars are everywhere these days. Those wine glasses made out of them are showing up in the dollar store in my own remote corner of North America, and I saw some ensalada served in one in a TripAdvisor photo of a restaurant in Madrid. (Rosi la Loca; watch for my article on it at Good Life Review.)
Pasta salads at my house tend to be a use for leftover pasta. Only on the hottest days of summer do I think about cooking some of the stuff just to let it cool. Still, putting on the dressing while the pasta is still warm is probably the best way to get it soaking up the flavor. The salad is good either way, though.
Any kind of tuna will do in this recipe. “Light” tuna (yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, etc.) is usually cheaper than “white” (albacore, which is almost like crabmeat), but not always. According to fishwatch.gov, tuna is the second most popular fish in the U.S., right after shrimp. Come to think of it, shrimp would taste pretty good in this salad in place of tuna, especially if they were on sale .
Editor’s Note: When having a beach party you’ll want to have a fun party favor to give your guests, especially the kids. Check out this article for some great ideas.
- 1 cup cooked pasta
- 2 tablespoons red pepper salad dressing
- 1 can tuna
- Black olives to taste
- Stir the pasta with the salad dressing till coated.
- Drain and flake the tuna.
- Mix gently with pasta mixture.
- Garnish with olives.