Summery Salad – Roasted Asparagus & Tomato Pasta Salad

I needed a dish to bring to a pot-luck dinner … in my stack of recipes to try was this yummy looking Cooking Light recipe “Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes”, but I wanted something that would work more as a main dish.  A little searching led me to a Food Network recipe “Roasted Asparagus Pasta Salad”.  I liked the idea of roasting the veggies and the flavor from balsamic, so combined ideas from both recipes.  The dish was a big hit at the pot-luck, and the leftovers made a good lunch.

As written below, this recipe is egg, dairy, and nut-free.  It would be super yummy (and easy) to add things like:  crumbled goat cheese, sliced grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, toasted pine nuts.

1 box bowtie pasta (or other “small” pasta)
1 1/2 “bunches” asparagus
1 small box (1 pint) grape tomatoes
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic (minced or use garlic press)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh chives

1)      Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2)      Cook pasta according to instructions on the package.  Drain in a colander and let cool.
3)      Trim ends of asparagus, and then slice on a diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces (roughly “bite sized).   Toss in a bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper.  Spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet and set aside.
4)      Cut grape tomatoes in half.  Use same bowl from the asparagus and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper.  So the tomatoes don’t stick – line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone cooking mat.  Arrange tomatoes skin side down on the prepared cookie sheet.
5)      Place asparagus & tomatoes in the oven.
6)      Roast asparagus until tender.  Amount of time will depend on how thick your asparagus are – 10 to 14 min.  Remove from oven & let cool down.
7)      Roast tomatoes until they start to brown a little on the bottoms – 10 to 15 min.  Remove from oven & let cool down.
8)      Prepare dressing – in a small bowl combine garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard & red pepper flakes.  Whisk in olive oil.  Mix in chives.
9)      In a large bowl – toss together the cooked pasta, roasted asparagus & dressing.
10)  Transfer to a serving bowl – top with roasted tomatoes.

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2 responses to “Summery Salad – Roasted Asparagus & Tomato Pasta Salad

  1. That looks excellent! I think it’s going to have to go on the meal plan!

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