Spring Fusilli Pasta Salad
A colorful variety of my favorite spring veggies are in this simple-to-make, delicious pasta salad. The perfect side dish for your next BBQ or dinner with the family. You may even want to try adding pulled-roasted chicken meat or fried tofu to the salad for a filling lunch on the go.
The recipe for pickled fennel, listed in the ingredients, can be found in my cookbook, Chef Eats Recipes and Techniques, available everywhere online books are sold! Happy cooking.
Fine mesh strainer
For this recipe, I used RUMMO gluten-free fusilli pasta. I like the RUMMO brand best compared to the others I have tried. Use regular pasta if you don't need to be gluten-free.
Yield: serves 2–3 people
Preparation time: 1–1½ hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
Charred Lemon Vinaigrette
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
7 oz fusilli pasta
½ bunch of asparagus
1 lb grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup sweet peas
1 cup pickled fennel, chopped
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
9 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 oz fresh basil, chopped
For lemon vinaigrette
Add the vegetable oil to a large frying pan on medium heat.
Cut the lemons in half and add them face down to the pan.
Cook the lemons until they start to soften and become dark and caramelized.
Turn the heat off and let the lemons cool enough to handle.
Squeeze the juice from the lemons through a fine mesh strainer over a mixing bowl to catch any seeds. Use a spatula to press the excess through the strainer into the bowl.
Combine the caramelized juice with the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
For the pasta salad
Fill a saucepot with salted water and bring it to a boil on high heat.
Add the pasta, turn the heat to a medium simmer, and cook as instructed. I cooked the RUMMO gluten-free pasta for 10 minutes.
Strain the pasta, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside spread out on a tray to cool
Fill another pot with salted water and bring it to a boil on high heat.
Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes.
Fill a container with ice water.
Turn the heat off the asparagus and remove them from the boiling water into the ice bath to cool immediately.
Chop the asparagus and add it to a large mixing bowl with the cooled pasta and the rest of the ingredients.
Pour the vinaigrette into the bowl and mix well to combine.
Season the salad with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and enjoy!