Sprinkle On This Extra Topping To Give Your Pasta Salads A Tasty Crunch

Bowl of pasta salad
Bowl of pasta salad - Kritchai7752/Shutterstock

Celery, cucumber, and red onion are mainstay ingredients in many pasta salad recipes that offer varying levels of crunch and flavor. Those ingredients are all delicious in their own right, but you should also consider a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top of your next bowl of pasta salad. It will add bits of crunch and nutty, sweet flavors to the top of each bite — and it will certainly set your pasta salad apart from the other side dishes on the table.

You might already use sesame seeds on Asian-inspired cold noodle salads, and they offer the same levels of flavor and crunchy texture in pasta salads. There are two options when it comes to sesame seeds in your next pasta salad. To keep it simple, use the sesame seeds straight out of the bag. The second option is to toast the sesame seeds first, which will enhance the flavors and make them even crunchier. Do this in a pan on the stovetop or in the oven on a baking sheet — it will only take a few minutes to take seeds to new heights.

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Combine Sesame Seeds With Other Asian-Inspired Ingredients For Your Next Pasta Salad

Close up of spoon with sesame seeds
Close up of spoon with sesame seeds - Savany/Getty Images

You can toss the sesame seeds with the rest of the ingredients to spread them throughout the bowl, or use it as a garnish to provide crunch at the top of each bite. You can even wait to serve the pasta salad, then garnish the top of each serving with the seeds. Whichever way you choose, you can't go wrong while adding sesame seeds to your favorite pasta salad recipe or leaning into the Asian inspiration to make a new version with some of our recommendations.

If you like a mayonnaise-based dressing for pasta salad, opt for Kewpie mayonnaise for a richer flavor. For the rest of the base, lean into the sesame seeds with a splash of sesame oil for another layer of nutty and mildly sweet notes or add soy sauce for umami essence. You can also add rice vinegar, which is popular in Asian cuisines, for a touch of acidity.

As for the rest of the ingredients, other options that pair well with sesame seeds are scallions, grated carrots, peanuts for more crunch, red or green bell peppers, or snow peas. For a less conventional take, give Tasting Table's colorful toasted sesame noodle salad recipe a try. And if you want to try sesame seeds in a more classic version of the dish, add them to our chicken pasta salad recipe and even skip the chicken if you wish.

Read the original article on Tasting Table