Tomato, Asparagus and Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

May 16, 2016

By: Darlene King

We wanted to start a new feature on the blog where we celebrate the bounty of the season by sharing with you some of our favourite recipes. These are our own recipes for dishes that are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, many of which we grow ourselves right here on the farm, or are able to find locally at the farmer’s market.

Our first recipe highlights one of our favourite spring ingredients, fresh asparagus. This easy main course pasta dish has become one of our go to family dinners when we are looking for the perfect spring or summer dinner. It can be served warm or chilled and can easily be doubled to feed a crowd.

1/4 cup white wine vinegar 60 mL

3 large heads garlic crushed

1Tbsp honey 15 mL

1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard 5 mL

Salt and pepper to taste

2/3 cup canola oil 160 mL

3 cups uncooked pasta, penne or rotini 720 ml

1 lb asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces 454 g

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 60 mL

1 large red pepper seeded and sliced into 1/2 inch (1 cm strips)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup cherry tomatoes halved 240 mL

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes sliced into strips 120 mL

2 green onions, finely chopped

In a glass jar with tight fitting lid pour in the vinegar, garlic, honey, mustard, salt and pepper and shake until the honey is dissolved. Add canola oil, shake again and pour 2 Tbsp of the vinaigrette into a small ramekin to use as a baste for grilling the chicken and red peppers. Reserve the rest of the vinaigrette to dress the pasta.

Have ready a large pasta bowl.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, approximately 8 minutes. Drain, and place it in the bowl. Toss with a couple of tablespoons of the vinaigrette to prevent the pasta sticking together. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another pot of salted water to boil and cook the asparagus spears for 4 minutes, drain and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Drain once the asparagus has chilled and add to the bowl with the pasta.

Preheat the grill. Baste the skin side of the pepper strips and then the chicken breasts with the reserved vinaigrette. Cook the peppers until grill marks begin to blister the skins side. Add to the pasta.

Cook the chicken turning frequently until cooked through. Remove from the grill and let sit a few minutes before slicing.

Add the chicken along with the cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped green onions to the pasta and asparagus. Pour the remaining vinaigrette over the ingredients in the bowl, toss the salad and serve.

Serves 4

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