What to eat when it’s hot outside ? A salad with pesto as the dressing is better than mayo or heavy dressings and parts of it can be made ahead of time to be combined sometime later before you eat. Both my husband and my son enjoyed this for dinner, my husband loved it so much he finished off whatever was leftover that same evening.
I received garlic scapes in my market bag and used it in the pesto and the salad itself, chopping it into pieces about one to two inches in length. I cut the asparagus and the leeks to the same size as the garlic scapes (though they weren’t used in the pesto). I prepared this again with more asparagus for our Memorial Day family gathering, but I have broccolini that would work well and so would fresh peas.
Garlic scapes are substituted for garlic in this dish, I used it in the pesto and the salad. They are the seed heads that shoot up among the garlic, cutting the scape off is supposed to lead to a bigger head of garlic. While you are patiently waiting for your garlic to grow, you can cut off your scape and substitute it in your recipes.
- Bunch Parsley
- Bunch Oregano
- 2 Garlic Scapes
- Bunch Basil
- ¼ cup Pine Nuts divided
- Olive oil
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 8 oz dried Orzo
- 8 Asparagus stalks
- 4 Garlic Scapes
- 2 Leeks
- Pine Nuts
- Grated Parmesan
- Place all Pesto ingredients into a food processor or magic bullet.
- Drizzle olive oil in and pulse.
- Check to see if the pesto is the right consistency - it should be loose enough to toss with salad and coat the pasta, but not too loose that it will just slide right off.
- If it isn't loose enough add more oil and pulse again.
- Cook Orzo according to package directions.
- Slice the garlic scapes, the asparagus and the leeks.
- The leeks will need to be rinsed again so that all of the dirt and sand is removed.
- Drain pasta and the vegetables and toss together.
- Toast Pine Nuts and add to the Pasta
- Toss the pesto with the pasta salad.
- Sprinkle Parmesan, salt and pepper and toss again.
I’m adding a note here that I’m entering this pasta salad as my entry for Culinary Smackdown – Battle Salad. Come visit and see the entries.
The last time we had Lamb Mint Sausage there were a few who said they didn’t know if lamb and mint went together. I love mint and I think the lamb mint sausage are very tasty, but it is a very mild flavor. I wanted to up the mint factor this time. So, I made a mint and parsely pesto to use with gemelli pasta and some asparagus, one of my favorite spring time foods. Of course I added some lamb mint sausage because I thought it would be the perfect thing to round out the dish.
For dinner, the pasta was warm when mixed with the pesto and the warm asparagus and sausage. The next day cold leftovers were even better. I think my mother will love this dish so much that I’m going to make it for her when she visits this summer. She has strict dietary restrictions and we have to go without tomatoes, onions and she doesn’t like heavy sauces, so this will be perfect for her. You could substitute beans for the sausage, or even use a grain instead of pasta for a salad. This salad embodies spring, lovely light taste, lots of pretty green – and lamb too. First ingredient fresh from the garden this year – parsley! Yay!
- Mint (I used a package of mint from the store)
- Parsley – big handful
- 2 tsp pine nuts
- 1 tbs shredded Romano
- 2 Tbs Basil Olive Oil
- bunch asparagus
- green onions
- lamb mint sausage
- 1/2 lb cooked gemelli pasta
In a food processor, or magic bullet, pulse the mint, parsley, pine nuts, shredded romano cheese and drizzle olive oil while pulsing. Cut the asparagus and the green onion into bite size pieces and saute in pan with olive oil. Saute the lamb mint sausage separately in another pan. After the sausage rests, slice the sausage into bite size pieces. Toss the pesto, asparagus and green onion and the sausage together with the cooked (and drained) pasta. Salt and pepper to desired taste and serve.