Filed under: Food and Recipes, Main Dishes, Side Dishes | Tags: asparagus, feta cheese, grilling, pasta salad, quick meals, spring vegetables, zucchini
Spring is here. Fresh vegetables are coming back in season, farmer’s markets are opening their stands, and warmer, longer, sunnier days are fostering growth and new life. I love these first few days of spring. It’s warm enough to enjoy the days, but not overly hot. My days off are normally spent puttering about the yard and garden, tending plants, and sipping coffee while enjoying my new porch furniture.
After a recent trip to see my dad, a trip to a local farmer’s market with a friend, and a drive home spent alone to think of cooking, I was craving some fresh, light, spring-inspired food. I came home, took what was in season, and made a pasta salad to take for lunches that week. I looked forward to eating this each day! You could pair it with a light protein or eat alone for a light meal. All additions to the salad are approximations and you can adjust, add, or swap based on your own tastes.
Here’s what I came up with. Hope you enjoy!
Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad
Recipe developed by Ganache
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch of asparagus, bottom ends trimmed off, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 oz reduced fat crumbed feta cheese
1 lb (box) small whole wheat pasta (penne or bow tie)
1 carton cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch of basil, chopped
Zest and juice of one lemon
Olive oil, salt, pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. In the last 3 to 4 minutes cooking, toss in asparagus and zucchini. Drain, add to a large bowl.
2. Add all remaining vegetables and cheese. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and the chopped basil. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season with approximately 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary. May serve warm, room temperature, or cold out of the fridge. Flavors get even better the next day.
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