The start of the summer! Wow did we get lucky with the beautiful weather this weekend. Everyone was out and about in the city. I started my weekend with a trip to the farmers' market in Union Square. It was definitely bustling! Along the way I saw so many fruit stands overflowing with fruits and vegetables. I couldn't resist the mango.
At the market, I stopped by my favorite vegetable stand and was immediately overcome by the delicious aroma of cilantro. Fresh herbs really get the senses and my mind going on what to cook next. Right when I saw it I knew I was making a salsa to bring to my friend's bbq later that day. I also picked up some asparagus to put in a pasta salad. There is nothing better than relaxing with friends on an over-sized, amazing patio having some good food and beverage.
2 ripe mango, diced
2 tbsp minced red onion
1 - 2 limes, juiced (2 - 3 tbsp lime juice)
1 - 2 c chopped cilantro
1/4 -inch slice fresh jalapeño, minced
fresh cracked salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well. Cover the salsa and set aside at room temperature for 30 mins to an hour before serving.
PESTO PASTA SALAD
You can use any pesto you like in this salad. I had leftover ramp pesto and garlic scape pesto which worked perfectly with my roasted asparagus, grape tomatoes, and fresh spinach.
1 lb fusili/rotini pasta
1/2 lb asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
10 - 12 (a handful) grape tomatoes, quartered
1 c sliced spinach
4 tbsp pesto
fresh cracked salt
Preheat the oven to 425º. Toss the cut asparagus with olive until just coated and spread out on a baking sheet. Top with a little fresh cracked salt. Roast for about 8 minutes.
Prepare the rest of your vegetables and put them all in a large bowl along with the pesto. Set aside.
Cook the pasta, in well salted water, according to the instructions on the package (go for al dente).
When the asparagus is just tender (roughly 8 minutes) add it to the bowl of vegetables - while still hot.
Drain the pasta and add it to your bowl. The heat from the pasta will help loosen up the pesto and breakdown the tomatoes a little. Top with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and some fresh cracked salt. Mix well and set aside.
This salad is best served at room temperature.
*note - you can also add some of the starchy/salty pasta water to your bowl of veggies/pesto. Start with a couple tablespoons.