My family and I live on a homestead in the Missouri Ozarks and produce much of our own food. In the summer, when the garden is bursting with fresh vegetables and it’s too hot to cook, I like to use the seasonal veggies for pasta salads and other cool meals. —Sarah Mathews, Ava, Missouri
"I love creating new and tasty foods, including this popular side-dish salad," Lori Menard writes from Omaha, Nebraska. "I make it often for my husband and me, especially during the summer months. If you add some cooked chicken breast, you can make this a meal for two."
Fresh produce is showcased in this salad. My husband, Richard, is not too crazy about plain vegetables, so I came up with this colorful salad. He loves it, and so does our son.—Rhonda Knight, Hecker, Illinois
Layers of red cabbage, green spinach, cherry tomatoes and cheese-filled tortellini make this layered salad a real centerpiece. You can alter the amount of dressing to your liking, if you wish.
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
"I received this recipe from a friend," explains Heather Richardson. "It can even be served as a light dinner with toasted garlic bread." The St. Paul, Virginia reader serves the low-fat salad on a bed of fresh greens.
This chilled pasta salad is pleasing to the eye and the palate. Susan Branch likes to serve it when sweet corn, tomatoes and zucchini are in season around her Kalamazoo, Michigan home. Her make-ahead favorite is lightly dressed with tarragon vinegar, olive oil and dill week.