Bring on the veggies! That’s what spring is all about, right?
I love love love perusing the farmers markets this time of year because we still have remnants of winter citrus while spring produce is in full swing- the best of both worlds! My husband knows me too well and never fails to stop at the quaint little markets on his way home from work, usually bringing me green beans, asparagus, avocado, some sort of citrus and of course, chocolate.
This dish is also brimming with fresh, seasonal veggies and tossed with a bright and herby sauce. Perfect for spring. I am almost always a fan of pasta salad but I like to switch up the sauce, so instead of a heavy mayo-based sauce, I blended a whole avocado with the juice of a Meyer lemon, some parsley, avocado oil and salt + pepper. Simple and bright.
Green beans, asparagus and some broccoli are blanched just to dial back their raw bite while still retaining some crunch. Add the green veggies with some halved, juicy cherry tomatoes to your cooked pasta, toss with a creamy avocado sauce and you’ve got a lightened up pasta salad that certainly doesn’t miss the mayo. Top with some feta or goat cheese if desired, but it’s certainly not necessary.
This is perfect as a side dish and great for a potluck as it works warm or cold, though I prefer it warm. So, head out to your nearest farmers market, grab some green veggies and get cooking!
spring veggie pasta salad with avocado-parsley sauce
This is a quick dinner or side to throw together and eats well hot or cold. Tossed with a bright and creamy avocado-parsley sauce, this pasta salad makes you want to eat your veggies!
- 8 oz gemelli, or other short pasta (whole wheat if possible)
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 cup fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- feta or goat cheese, optional
- 2 tbs hemp seeds, optional
- ½ avocado
- ½-1 cup avocado oil
- 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
- juice from ½ Meyer lemon
- salt + pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil and toss in the broccoli florets, green beans, asparagus and bell peppers. Blanch for about 2 minutes, until veggies are a bright green. Drain veggies and immediately put them into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
The same water used to blanch the veggies can be used to cook the pasta, just make sure it’s at a rolling boil when the pasta goes in and cook according to package directions.
When pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pot. Mix in the blanched vegetables, cherry tomatoes and hemp seeds. Then toss together with the avocado-parsley sauce. Serve warm and top with another sprinkling of flaked sea salt and/or your choice of cheese if desired.
For the avocado-parsley sauce: add the avocado, ½ cup avocado oil, parsley, Meyer lemons juice and salt + pepper to the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. If needed, drizzle more avocado oil to loosen sauce.