I live in the high desert where the physical signs of spring do not show up until it is nearly summer. So I look for signs of spring in other places. Seeing asparagus on sale for 99 cents a pound reassures me that spring has arrived for our neighbors to the west in California and will eventually make it to our area.
Since asparagus was on sale for 99 cents a pound, I indulged and bought 6 pounds last week. My mass asparagus purchase came the day before my oven died, so I decided to use some of it in a pasta salad that could be quickly and easily be prepared on the the stove top.
The dressing on this salad is not a traditional dressing that you would want to use on a regular salad. On its own it is somewhat bland. It is intended to subtly enhance the flavors of the vegetables in the salad without over powering them.
- 16 oz. pasta (I use brown rice pasta to make this gluten-free)
- 2 lbs. asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 16 oz. can olives
- 1 sweet pepper, diced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary
- pinch of salt
- dash pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Steam asparagus in a double boiler for 6 - 8 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
- While the pasta and asparagus are cooking, mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain the water and rinse the pasta under cold water until the pasta is cool. When the asparagus is fork tender, remove it from the flame and let it sit to cool.
- Place the pasta in a large bowl. Add asparagus, olives, and peppers. Drizzle dressing over the pasta and vegetables and toss to coat thoroughly.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Toss again before serving.
My daughter arrived home after a long day of school and work and was so hungry she dove into the salad while it was still warm. She was quite effusive in her praise, but starving college students are lavish in their praise of any home-cooked meal. I preferred the salad after it had chilled in the refrigerator and the flavors had time to mingle.