First thing in the morning I have one job. Wake up, wash my face and brush my teeth. Sounds simple enough, right? It usually is, but this week it went awry in the most untasteful way.
I mixed up my face wash and my toothpaste.
On the upside my mouth felt very clean. All of those suds really did the trick, but my taste buds weren’t too pleased with my mix up. They’d rather I stick to toothpaste. I’d rather I stick to toothpaste. I’m not quote sure how the mistake happened. My toothpaste is bright red and my face wash is cream. In my defense, they’re about the same size and both have a flip top lid. A week argument, I know.
My mind must have been elsewhere. And when it wanders, its usually thinking bout food. Who am I kidding, usually isn’t a strong enough word – try almost always thinking about food. I was probably thinking about this delightful Asparagus Lemon Pasta Salad. Spring has my wheels churning with all sorts of seasonal recipe ideas. Green beans, peas, asparagus, and strawberries are making their debut in the grocery stores.
In fact, I made a quick spring produce guide this week (it’s right after the recipe!) to keep on track with some seasonal eating. I always find that eating with the seasons is the best way to go. The produce is fresh and more delicious than its out of season counterpart. It is my secret weapon in making flavor-packed meals. Pasta salad really relies on that principle. It has few ingredients, so each needs to be at its peak in order to shine.
- 1 lb asparagus, woody stems removed and cut into 2 inch lengths
- 16 oz. brown rice penne pasta
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil, roughly chopped or torn
- 2 cups loosely packed spinach
For the dressing:
- Zest from one lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons minced tarragon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until combined. Set aside.
- Prepare an ice bath, which you'll need for cooking the asparagus, by filling a bowl with cold water and ice.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, 2-3 teaspoons, to the water. Once the water is boiling add in the asparagus. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the asparagus is cooked, but still slightly crisp. Remove the asparagus and plunge them immediately into the ice bath. Let sit in the ice bath for 5 minutes then drain and pat dry.
- Add the pasta into the boiling water (I use the same water that I cooked the asparagus in) and cook according to package directions. Strain pasta and immediately rinse with cold water to cool the noodles down.
- Combine the asparagus, noodles, basil, spinach and dressing. Toss to combine and serve.