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Picnic Lunch: Orange-Curry Pasta Salad

March 9, 2011

More often than not, I bring my lunch to work.  We have a roomy staff lounge equipped with a few microwaves, so throughout the cold winter my lunch usually consists of soups and other hot dishes.  Lately, in spite of the 2-3 inches of sticky, wet snow that fell last night, I have been thinking ahead to springtime lunches.  I keep a woven throw rug in my office, so when the weather is nice, I can throw it down on the grass in front of the library and enjoy a picnic lunch.  Cold dishes that don’t need reheating are easiest for picnics, so I am always trying to think of new salad ideas.  This curried pasta dish is easy to throw together, keeps well in the refrigerator, and makes a flavorful lunch filled with contrasting textures and flavors.  Spring is coming, and when it does, my picnic lunchbox will be ready.

I love Greek-style yogurt, but I would recommend using a regular plain yogurt for this dish — the thicker yogurts won’t loosen up enough for the dressing to coat the salad well.

Orange-Curry Pasta Salad

1/2 lb pasta

1 cup plain yogurt

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp curry powder

zest and juice of 1 orange

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 apple, chopped

1 cup sweet baby peas, fresh OR frozen and thawed

1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley OR cilantro, chopped (to taste)

Boil the pasta, then drain and rinse under cool water.  Set aside. Chop the onion, apple, and parsley, and add to the pasta.  Stir in the peas.

Whisk together the yogurt, soy sauce, curry powder, orange zest, and orange juice until smooth.  Pour over the pasta and vegetable mixture and toss until well coated.  Chill tightly covered until ready to serve.


  1. March 9, 2011 2:33 pm

    Just love your mosiac photographs…Sounds as if you’re really looking forward to Spring! I love citrus zing and this pasta salad would be a treat! x

  2. March 9, 2011 4:27 pm

    Thanks, Yvette. Spring and picnics cannot come soon enough!

  3. March 9, 2011 7:40 pm

    Love the idea of keeping a picnic blanket in your office. I do that too. My university gave us stadium blankets one year as a “thank you” gift. I keep one in my office and one in my car (I acquired a second one from someone who didn’t want theirs.)

  4. March 9, 2011 8:07 pm

    So useful — you never know when you’ll need a little blanket!

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