I happen to have a tremendous affinity for pasta which is a shame really because it isn't particularly good for an over fifty female with a waist line trying to win a girth contest with her hips. Yup, it ain't pretty.
I also happen to love asparagus and smoked salmon too, so imagine combining three of your most favorite things into one fabulous dish. That's what I did last night for dinner.
I originally had every intention of making a hot pasta dish, but with triple digit temperatures and still without a blind on my south facing kitchen window, standing over a hot stove held absolutely zero appeal.
Consequently I boiled pasta, blanched asparagus and cooled the whole lot off before adding skinny little slices of orange mini bell peppers, and chopped sweet onion to the mix. Combined with a lemon, Dijon, mayonnaise and sour cream dressing flavored with a touch of tarragon and lots of pepper, the bowl hit the fridge to chill out for a couple of hours.
Just prior to serving about 10 ounces of incredible lemon/mustard seed smoked sockeye salmon courtesy of Trader Joe's joined the party along with a couple of handfuls of mini-pearl tomatoes. Plated and served with a side of flaky home made buttermilk biscuits and a big ice filled glass of sparkling water, it was a delightful Monday night repast. I figured it couldn't possibly be too bad in the calorie department because after all, the veggies outweighed the pasta. Oh, and it really was just one little iddy biddy moist butter filled biscuit, so that couldn't count much either. Right?
Trouble is Big Guy cut and served a humongous slice of caramel apple pie for dessert and try as I might, I couldn't leave nary a crumb. Oh well - there's always another day to be good and it should be easier today. The pie's all gone; however, there's still a bunch of salad left...oh and biscuits too. MMMM Darn.
Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus (Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 1996)
3 cups medium sized pasta (penne, radiatore, or shells)
1-1/2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
4 or 5 mini sweet bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 cup mini pearl tomatoes
10 ounces smoked salmon, broken into large pieces
2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Lite is fine)
1/4 cup lite sour cream
1-1/2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Two minutes before it’s done, add asparagus to pot to blanche. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled. Drain well. Place in a bowl along with onion, and peppers. Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and fold into pasta. Chill for a minimum 2 hours. Just before serving, add tomatoes and smoked salmon pieces. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary. Garnish with capers if you wish. Makes 6 main course servings.
A year ago - Spicy Bean Snackin' Cake
Two year's ago - Roasted Corn Chowder