1clove ofgarlicput through a garlic press or finely grated.
the juice of half alemon ( 3 tablespoons)
¾cup ofextra virgin olive oil
⅛teaspoonsea salt+ more if necessary
⅛teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper+ more if necessary
For the pasta salad
300g(4 cups) pastadry weight
200g(0.45lb / 7 oz) of asparagus spears woody ends snapped off
2mediumcourgettes (zucchini)cut into medium thin slices
½ a cup offrozen peas
4spring onions (scallions)finely chopped
8sun-dried tomatoes thinly sliced
20g(2 tbsp) pine nuts
Make the dressing
Add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1 clove of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup to a bowl. Use a small whisk to stir it all together.Slowly pour in the extra virgin oil whisking all the time. Once all the oil has been added you should have a smooth creamy dressing.Pop it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Make the pasta salad
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.Toast the pinenuts in a dry pan until golden brown and leave to cool.
Heat a griddle pan to medium then brush it with oil.Cook the asparagus for 4 to 5 minutes turning them often so they are cooked evenly. They should be lightly charred and just fork tender. Depending on how big your pan is you may have to cook the asparagus in two batches. Set aside until you are ready to use them. Cut them into quarters when you are ready to add them to the pasta.Now cook the courgettes (zucchini). Cook each side for a minute or two then set aside. You will have to do this in batches.
Add the cooked pasta to a large serving bowl. Add all the veg and toss well.You can add the dressing now if you are serving straight away. Pour the dressing into the pasta and veggies and toss well. Sprinkle the toasted pinenuts over the pasta salad just before you serve it.You can also serve the dressing on the side if you wish.
Vegetables - Fresh is best for asparagus and courgettes. I use frozen peas but if you have fresh peas then they will work too. This is a very adaptable recipe, you can add in more veggies if you want. Fresh cherry tomatoes work really well as do broad beans or edamame peas. You can also swap the spring onions (scallions) for finely chopped red onion.
Pasta - You can really use almost any pasta for this dish, however, I would stick to short pasta such as penne or farfalle. You can also use whole wheat pasta if you want and to make it gluten-free use your favourite gluten-free pasta.
Oil - extra virgin olive oil is best for the dressing but you can use regular olive oil for the griddle.
Cooking the veg - I use a griddle pan for the asparagus and courgettes, if you don't have one you can use a regular pan, or you can roast them in the oven. If you have the BBq on then you could cook the veg on a flat grill pan or griddle.
Storing - This salad will keep in the fridge for 2 days. I would recommend storing the dressing separately otherwise the veggies will get soggy.
Making ahead - You can make the dressing up to two days ahead if you need to. Just keep it covered in the fridge and give it a good stir before you use it. Everything else I would make on the day.
Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.