When early spring begins to show her face and salads are again appealing, it’s time to throw together this dish. In summer, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, cucumbers and green onions can easily be subbed for the veggies listed below. But just now, asparagus and chives are all I’ve got growing, so olives and dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers are the magic that turn simple pasta and lemon dressing into something extra special.
Recipe inspired by Southern Living
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta (small shells, rotini, penne or some mix of these are nice)
- 1 cup asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces. Can be raw or roasted.
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers or dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 2 tsp. dried dill
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until blended.
- Set aside to add to the salad or store in an air tight container; good for about a week.
- Prepare pasta as instructed on package. Set aside in a large serving bowl.
Chop asparagus and prepare vegetables and herbs. Add to the pasta.
- Pour dressing into the serving bowl. Gently stir until everything is well mixed.
- Top with feta.
- Chill for at least an hour to marry all flavors.