Lemon Pasta Salad for Summer
To speak about something as prosaic as pasta salad seems downright ho-hum. I mean. It's just a pasta salad. It's something I tossed together with stuff I had on hand. I hadn't planned on it. I didn't spend days contemplating the ins and outs and quirks of gluten-free brown rice penne. In fact, if I'm being unabashedly honest here I rarely think about food at all.
Until I'm hungry.
Until those familiar, nagging pangs begin gnawing their pesky little way into my consciousness, distracting me from my preferred, visual nomenclature- which rarely includes anything edible.
I daydream about paint, the plight of bees, and Clint Mansell's score for Moon. I notice the temperature of light and the curve of negative space against a jar of old spoons. I think about expectations and illusions and perceptions. I ponder where my soul is taking me, tugging at me to pay attention to my life, inviting me through dreams and the random snippets of music or ideas or theories that skitter and skate and ripple the mental stream I wade in day after day, to consider time itself- if I believe in it- sliding by in a cool constant flow of now.
I rarely eat breakfast. I often forget lunch. And dinner time always surprises me. As if each day takes figuring out all over again how to live (to paraphrase the Deadwood Zen master David Milch).
This doesn't mean I don't appreciate good food. Or that I hate to cook (well, some days I am less than enthusiastic). I loathe junk food and processed food. I can't take credit for this- it's simply the way I'm built, the way my body so pointedly rejects any easy, packaged fix.
Even before I discovered gluten intolerance and FODMAPs I knew on some instinctual level that in order to keep this body of mine healthy and strong for the here and now I have to pay it some attention. I know I have to eat. And eat consciously.
And so I find myself rummaging in the little white painted cupboard that is my pantry.
And I find a box of brown rice penne.
In the fridge I locate a fistful of spring asparagus.
A few sprigs of dill, marjoram, parsley and mint.
The rest is history.
Now in my belly.
Fuel for instigating thoughts of rebirth, fragility, and the particular pink that is ranunculus.
|Brown rice penne make this pasta salad gluten-free.|
|Pink ranunculus on my spring table.|
|Fresh herbs and grilled asparagus accent this lemony pasta salad.|
Lemon Infused Pasta Salad Recipe with Fresh Herbs and Grilled Asparagus
This light and lemony gluten-free vegan pasta salad recipe is easy to toss together- yet elegant enough to serve at your next party or picnic with family and friends.
1 12-oz. box gluten-free brown rice penne
1 1-lb. bunch thin asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 large juicy lemon
1/2 cup Vegenaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
Black pepper, freshly ground
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and stir in the brown rice penne. Cook until tender, but still al dente. Do not over-cook.
Wash the asparagus. Trim off tough ends. Grill in a grill pan (or on a hot grill) until the spears are tender-crisp- don't over-cook these babies. You want them smoky and slightly crisp. Remove them from the grill pan or grill and let them cool a bit. Slice them into bite-size lengths.
When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain well and pour into a large bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, toss lightly to coat. Squeeze lemon juice all over the pasta and toss gently. Add the Vegenaise, asparagus, and fresh chopped herbs. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Again, toss gently to combine.
Serve immediately at room temperature when the flavors are fresh and vibrant. This will insure the best texture.
If you must make it ahead of time- cover and chill. But before serving, allow the pasta salad to come up to room temperature for best flavor. Gluten-free pasta becomes stiff when chilled.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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