For sunny, lazy days, I make a loaded macaroni salad that’s like three salads in one. The mix of fresh veggies, sweet peaches and crunchy pistachios is a surprisingly delicious combo. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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
To create a more interesting pasta salad, I added pasta to my favorite black-eyed pea salad. The result is different and delicious. Cucumber and green pepper give this picnic side dish a satisfying crunch.
—Melinda Ewbank of Fairfield, Ohio
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.
"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.
My great-aunt gave me the recipe for this rich, fruity salad, which goes especially well with a ham dinner. Before I even tasted it, I knew it would be good. I've never walked away from her kitchen disappointed.
—Carolyn Shepherd, O'Neill, Nebraska
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
This pretty crowd-pleaser always stands out on the buffet table. With plenty of shrimp, artichoke hearts, olives, peppers and a host of herbs, it's a tasty change-of-pace from pasta salads. I serve it with a from-scratch vinaigrette.—Ginger Johnson, Pottstown, Pennsylvania