This quick pasta salad is good to have on hand as we approach Holy Week and the comings and goings associated with its additional liturgies. Traditional Broccoli Sunshine Salad becomes a vegetarian meal by swapping bacon/ham for legumes and tossing it with pasta. My family's version of the original salad did not include cheese, but there's no reason why you can't add some.
Broccoli Sunshine Pasta (Serves 6)
1 lb box short pasta
3 cups broccoli florets, cut in spears
1.5 cups cups cooked legumes or canned equivalent (I think kidney beans are prettiest, but anything goes- I used garbanzos in the version pictured)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T minced red onion
1 T poppy seeds
2 T cider vinegar
1 T sugar
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
Prepare pasta according to box directions, adding broccoli in last minute of cooking. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the dressing by combining mayonnaise, onion, poppy seeds, vinegar and sugar. Drain pasta/broccoli mixture, and toss with dressing and beans. Gently fold in dried cranberries and sunflower seeds, if using. Chill before serving.