We really are having some glorious weather this week and going into a Bank Holiday weekend too, which makes for a change. Let's hope it keeps up for the weekend! This be salad weather!
I am a HUGE salad fan! The Toddster, not so much although he would be the first to admit that I never make boring salads.
I like to make interesting salads, and salads that take advantage of fresh seasonal ingredients. For instance, British Asparagus is in season at the moment. I don't eat asparagus any other time of the year because there is just no comparison in flavour.
I believe in eating seasonally. I don't think asparagus that has been shipped over from Peru in the depths of winter has any flavour at all really. The taste never justifies it's high price in my opinion!
We are also getting some really nice locally grown greenhouse tomatoes at the moment, but no worries there even if you can't get local when it comes to the tomatoes. Roasting enhances the flavour of just about any tomato!
With its punchy lemon rnch dressing, the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes and that earthy asparagus, the beautiful bow tie pasta (use whole wheat if you can get it, its a bit nuttier!) . . . this makes a beautiful side dish for anything you might be grilling this weekend!
You could actually roast the veg on the BBQ as well. Just pop it onto a baking sheet and pop the baking sheet into the BBQ and close the lid. Roast for approximately the same length of time. I almost guarantee any veggie haters in the family will love this!
*Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus*
A deliciously different Pasta Salad. Easy to make, quick, colourful and very tasty!
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
1 pound of asparagus, washed and dried
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish if desired
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 TBS good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 TBS prepared ranch dressing
1 tsp of basil pesto sauce
1 pound of farfalle pasta (bow tie)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F. gas mark 7. Have ready a baking sheet which you have lined with foil and lightly sprayed with oil.
Cut the asparagus into 2 inch lengths, put the into a bowl with the tomato halves. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the fresh basil. Toss all together to coat. Spread out into a single layer on the baking sheet, making sure the cut sides of the tomatoes are facing up. Roast in the heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the tomatoes start to blister and the asparagus is tender crisp. Set aside to cool.
Place the pasta in a pot of lightly salted boiling water and cook to al dente, according to the package directions. Drain well, rinse with cold water to cool down, and rinse again.
Whisk the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, lemon zest and pesto together in the bowl you tossed the vegetables with the oil in. Add the pasta and toss to
coat. Fold in the asparagus and roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve garnished with fresh chopped basil
if you wish.
Have a lovely weekend and Bon Appetit!