Early Spring Pasta Salad

This pleasant pasta salad highlights the many flavors of spring and calls to mind warmer weather with its sunny Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette dressing.

Serves 6

What You Need:

For the Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette:
2 minced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
3/8 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup packed parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar 

For the pasta salad:
2 large leeks, cleaned well, ends removed, and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
5 stems rainbow chard, chopped
1/2 cup fresh spring peas, blanched for 2 minutes and drained
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more (for garnish)
1 16-ounce package brown rice fusilli pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water
1-1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed well
4 small carrots, shredded
Freshly cracked black pepper 

What You Do:

  1. For the Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt for 5 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning, until golden brown. Into a food processor, add sautéed garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and blend until very well mixed, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides as necessary.
  2. For the pasta salad, in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat, sauté leeks, chard, peas, oil, and salt until leeks are tender and golden brown on edges.
  3. Into a large bowl, place pasta and douse with Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette. Fold in cooked leek mixture, beans, and carrots. Top with pepper and salt. Serve cold or at room temperature.



Photo: Allyson Kramer

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