Nothing says spring better than fresh strawberries and asparagus. Hereís a great new pasta salad thatís suitable for a spring buffet or as a light main dish at a luncheon. The strawberries and asparagus are mixed with pasta, red onion, cashews, and chicken; itís dressed with a fabulous blueberry pomegranate yogurt dressing. Although this quick and easy salad can be made in less than 30 minutes and served immediately, itís better if it sits in the fridge overnight so that the flavors have time to blend.
In this dish, the asparagus is added to the boiling pasta just before itís done, eliminating the need to use two pots or to take the extra time to cook them separately. Itís important to add a tablespoon of salt to the water so that the asparagus stays a pretty green.
Although fancy fruit vinegars are available in specialty stores, Blueberry Pomegranate Vinegar is easy to make, and keeps indefinitely on the shelf.
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 cup blueberry pomegranate vinegar, or raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups plain yogurt
1 pound capelletti, or small shell pasta
2 pounds fresh asparagus, tough ends snapped off and cut on the diagonal into 1/2" slices
1/2 cup red onions, finely chopped
6 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
4 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 cups whole salted cashews
- Dressing: Measure the sugar, dry mustard, vinegar, and onion flakes in the blender; blend until the sugar is dissolved.
- With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until well-incorporated.
- Stir in the yogurt and pulse two or three times.
- Salad:Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- About two minutes before the pasta is tender, add the asparagus and cook until the asparagus is crisp tender, 2 minutes.
- Pour into a colander over the sink and run cold water over to cool.
- Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir in the dressing, cover, and chill.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 148
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 44% Protein 18% Carb. 38%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 24 mg
Sodium 109 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 15 g
Vitamin A 9% Vitamin C 68% Calcium 0% Iron 9%