I couldn't go to Stephanie's class picnic yesterday (Julie and I are constant companions now that preschool has let out), but I did sign up to bring something. I was supposed to bring an "adult salad," which briefly made me think it was supposed to be something pornographic, perhaps with Jello and kiwis or something. Turns out it was just supposed to be something tempting for the adult chaperones at the picnic, regardless of whether the kids thought it would go well with their pizza and pretzels. So I made this lovely pasta salad. It's very easy, and it only improves as the summer wears on and interesting tomatoes abound!
Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Black Beans
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 lbs. assorted tomatoes, cut in wedges or chunks if large or halved if small
1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into little chunks
1 14-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
about 12 oz. dried pasta (I doubled this recipe and made 2 lbs. of farfalle, which was way too much; I think about 1.5 lbs. would have been closer to the mark. Any medium-small shape will work.)
Cook pasta, drain, and toss with a quick drizzle of olive oil back in the pot.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and a nice pinch of sea salt. Season with pepper. Add tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and black beans and mix gently. Add the pasta and toss gently to combine.