A Must-Have Spring Salad for Your Recipe Box

0:00 Even though I am addicted to cookbooks and “recipe-of-the-day” emails from numerous sources, I sometimes find myself in a cooking rut, making the same […]

Published May 24, 2024 12:43 AM
2 min read


Even though I am addicted to cookbooks and “recipe-of-the-day” emails from numerous sources, I sometimes find myself in a cooking rut, making the same old things over and over. But when my friend Julia sent me a spring salad recipe cap-tioned “deeelish!” I was instantly inspired.

Julia knows I am all about easy recipes that taste great. They make gathering with friends and family around the table more doable. She nailed it with this dish, which checks every box when it comes to spring and summer dining. It is elegant enough to be served at a brunch or dinner party, yet simple enough to be a side dish on a Tuesday night after work. And it’s colorful enough to be the showstopper at any picnic. On top of that, it is so fresh and flavorful, you feel like you are eating right from the garden in every bite.

I’ll be making it again for my father’s 82nd birthday. He has asked for prime rib, and this will go perfectly with it to balance the heaviness of the beef. The lemon and fresh herbs give it tremendous flavor, and the raw peas and blanched asparagus add perfect texture. The first time I made it, I served it with grilled chicken. You can even dice the chicken and toss it in the bowl to add a little more protein.

While the original recipe called for orzo, I chose campanelli, which is a fun trumpet- or funnel-shaped pasta and adds more dimension aesthetically. Home Goods has a great pasta section where I often pick up distinctively shaped pasta. When I visit Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, I also grab from the many shapes that I never see in our grocery stores.

Cooking Tip: Peas are in season, so I highly recommend buying the pre-shelled peas sold at Whole Foods in the pre-cut vegetable section. I used the whole bag when I made it. I am sure frozen peas would be great, but try the fresh while we have them.

Spring Pasta Salad with Crispy Shallot

Serves 4-6


For the Viniagrette

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large shallot or 2 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2T red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Pinch of salt and pepper

For the Pasta
8 oz any small to medium pasta, I love campanelle
1 cup fresh peas, defrosted if frozen
1-1/2 cups thin asparagus, chopped in 1-1⁄2 – inch pieces
4 cups arugula
3T basil, chopped
3T mint, chopped
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


For the Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir until they’re golden brown, taking care not to burn them.

Add the shallots and oil to a jar or bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package. Drop the asparagus in to blanch for the last 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Toss all ingredients, including the dressing, and season to taste.

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