Picnic season is here, and that means it's time to overhaul some childhood warm-weather favorites. What better dish to start with than the classic vegan pasta salad? I've made plenty of vegan pasta salads over the years, but this one is definitely the most flavorful. I decided to cook up some asparagus and tomatoes--two of my favorite spring and summer veggies--and toss everything in a bright, zingy vinaigrette. You can serve this vegan pasta salad warm or cold, but I'm pretty partial to chilling it prior to eating. Just top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and you're good to go!
Vegan Pasta Salad With Asparagus, Chickpeas & Blistered Tomatoes
YIELDS 4-6 servings
- 16 oz pasta of choice (I used a gluten-free quinoa pasta)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Nutritional yeast (optional)
1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Once it's done cooking, drain and set aside to cool. 2. While pasta is cooking, sauté garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. 3. Add asparagus to the skillet and sauté for another 5-7 minutes, until it turns bright green. When asparagus is done cooking, scoop asparagus and garlic out of the skillet and into a large bowl. 4. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the tomatoes. Let tomatoes sit for 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to blister and burst. Remove from the skillet and add to bowl with asparagus. Stir in cooked pasta and chickpeas. 5. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over pasta salad and stir to thoroughly combine. Serve warm or cold.
Also by Molly: Vegan Garlic Rosemary Curly Fries
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Photos: Molly Lansdowne