‘Tis the season for pasta salads. They’re a summertime staple at picnics and backyard barbecues for good reason: They can be prepped in advance, feed a crowd, and hang out for hours. Most importantly, they’re easy-breezy, exactly what a dish on a hot summer day should be.
Except that, in reality, pasta salad is often the most snoozeworthy dish on the picnic table—bland, mushy, oily, heavy, or all of the above. It’s the dish that we bypass entirely or shuffle to the sides of our plates after a few bites to make room for the things we actually want to eat.