Life be cray sometimes, amiright? Because of this fact, last week when we were all signing up for things to bring to our potluck lunch as a “school is over!” celebration at work, I thought, “Hey, self. Let’s double dip here and make a post out of whatever we sign up for. Great idea! You’re so clever. You should go to Target later to reward yourself.”
So I signed up for pasta salad and then began my adventure of creating the recipe for a supaaaaa delicious version of the classic side dish. I say “adventure,” which makes life sound exciting, when really I just sat at my desk until I thought of something that sounded yummy.
The weather has been insane here with thunderstorms happening baassiiccallyy…let me think…EVERY THREE SECONDS. But I decided to pretend it was springy and beautiful outside and use that dreamy weather to make a spring inspired dish. Everything about this pasta salad screams spring and summer:
- It is loaded with spring veggies: broccoli, asparagus, fennel, peas (love).
- The veggies are grilled, which feels like spring and summer because during those seasons, you are out by the grill all the time. If this isn’t you, you need to make some life changes, buy a grill, and use dat baby up.
- It is light and refreshing – not loaded down with heavy mayo. It does have a little mayo, but the main creaminess in this pasta salad comes from reduced fat sour cream. And on top of that, the salad is lightly dressed, so you taste more of the tender pasta and delicious grilled veggies.
Does it get much better than grilled vegetables? Especially when they are spring vegetables? (We don’t grill the peas because…I don’t know, I feel like that would be weird.) The answer is no, my peeps. It does not get much better than grilled spring veggies.
I used a grill pan for this…which, now that I think about it, kind of defeats the purpose of my previous rant in which I ordered you to go buy a grill. I used a grill pan for three reasons:
- It was basically tornado-ing outside.
- The veggies could be victims of falling through the grates of the grill, so I would use a veggie grilling tray/device/thing if you do this on an actual, legit grill. We might have one of those, but I’m really not sure (see #3).
- My husband is the actual grill master. I don’t really use it myself very often. Again, my previous rant is seeming less and less convincing. Anyway, since he isn’t home yet (soon! Soon!), I decided to whip out the handy old grill pan and make this HAPPEN.
The thing I like about these veggies is the char you get on them, which is still achievable with a grill pan…but, still…GO BUY A GRILL! Fo reals. Grills make everything delicious. And I can’t wait for Seth to get home so we can grill errynight.
So, let’s talk about this pasta salad in a little more detail. Give you a few deets, some might say.
The veggies: broccoli, asparagus, fennel, peas, shallot.
The dressing: sour cream, italian dressing, a leeeeetle bit of mayo. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Once you grill your veggies, which is the only semi-tedious part of this recipe, chop those babies up and throw ’em on your pasta. Liiikkeee SO!
Add your peas, shallot, and dressing. Stir it all together, season to taste with salt and pepper, take a bite, transport into spring wonderland where the the grass is green, the weather is perfect, the sun is shining, and there isn’t a tornado four feet outside your window as you hide in your basement storm shelter using your dog as a shield.
HAHA, but really. That happened. Like four times. Exhibit A:
He is not amused.
UM, wait. Let me tell you about my day. As you all know, since I’ve mentioned it approximately seven million times, my husband is deployed and is coming home soon! In light of this event, I have been cleaning until my eyeballs fall out. SO – my day.
Wake up super early.
Clean. Do laundry. Clean. Do laundry. Repeat times a billion.
Go to the grocery store because guess what? It’s the weekend and I still have to blog (I can’t ignore and abandon you lovely people). Cook three recipes for this upcoming week (all turned out bosssssss), photograph three recipes, clean up after three recipes.
Go to the gym. Proceed to die of cramps on the treadmill because I just ate blog food #whoops #myB.
Come back home. Laundry. Deep clean fridge, which BY THE WAY, is the most intense process ever if you go all the way. And by all the way I mean take literally all food out, remove all shelves and drawers, scrub everything while Boone sleeps on my feet, wipe down the inside of the fridge, put all the food back, and, my personal favorite part, throw away all the food that has gone bad and scrub out the tupperwares. This last step makes me feel like a disgusting person because I realize some of this stuff has been sitting in my fridge for a socially unacceptable amount of time. I don’t even have an excuse…I don’t have one.
Write blog post, which brings us to now!
I’ve been going hard for over twelve hours, people. WHHHEEWWWWW. But the house will be so nice and clean when Seth gets home!
And guess what I am going to do now?? More laundry!!! Yayyyy!!!!! I will close my eyes and go to my happy place: a comfy couch with a bowl of this pasta salad ?.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 head fennel
- 1 pound box of pasta (I used mini farfalle - just get something small and bite sized)
- ½ cup light sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ cup light Italian dressing
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- ½ shallot, finely minced
- Bring a large pot of SALTED (it should taste like the ocean) water to a boil. When boiling, add your pasta and cook until al dente (follow package instructions). Drain in a colander and set aside
- Meanwhile, prep your veggies
- For the broccoli, remove the tough ends and slice into florets
- For the asparagus, snap off the fibrous ends
- For the fennel, remove the fronds so you are left with just the bulb. Cut the bulb in half and slice out the core. Chop into large wedges (it's okay if they come apart a bit, we will be chopping everything up later)
- Heat your grill pan over medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil across the surface and, when hot, add your veggies - season with salt and pepper. If you are using a grill pan like mine, you will only be able to fit one type of veggie at a time (meaning do all your broccoli at once, remove to a baking sheet and do all your asparagus, remove and do all your fennel). Add extra drizzles of olive oil if things get too dry
- When your veggies are done grilling, move them to a cutting board and chop them all into small, bite sized pieces. I chopped mine pretty small so I could get a variety in every bite!
- In a large bowl, add your pasta, your chopped grilled veggies, your thawed peas, your minced shallot, and the sour cream, mayo, and Italian dressing
- Stir until totally combined and season to taste with salt and pepper
*Note: If you want to make this in advanced, you can (I tried it, and it worked just fine), but you will have to add a little more sour cream/Italian dressing/mayo before you serve it. The pasta soaks up some of that yummy dressing over night.*
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more creamy salad recipes? Check these out!