What's for Dinner: A Salad by Any Other Name

Pretend pasta is a salad tonight

Not feeling inspired by your usual dishes? Here's what's for dinner.

Pasta salad is a brilliant creation, allowing us to pretend pasta is actually a salad. But too often, it's overloaded with mayonnaise, making it feel neither like pasta nor salad. Our version, with its various greens and vegetables, blurs the line between the two. We suggest you make it with a celery-two-ways cocktail and a refreshing trout dish for a dinner of "salads" that will actually fill you up.

① Drink: Cel-Ray Collins

With both celery soda and stalks, this is basically a salad you can drink. Sure, that's why we have green smoothies and juice bars, but there's nothing wrong with sneaking a bit of gin into your glass for a vegetal cocktail.

② Main Course: Pan-Seared Trout with Fennel, Apples and Avocado

Whether you use a grill pan or a skillet, this light, flavorful trout dish turns out just as delicious. The salad (or "slaw") of creamy avocado, crunchy fennel and toasted nuts goes right over butterflied fish almost like a filling, giving new meaning to "fish taco."

③ Side Dish: Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto, Tomatoes and Snap Peas

Thinly sliced snap peas (as their name suggests) add crunch you never knew you was missing to this dish. Served warm (pasta salad) or cool (pasta salad), this versatile side goes from picnic basket to dinner table to poolside with ease.