CSA season is about half over, and Jin has gone home to see her parents for a few weeks. This leaves me with the entire box, which is exciting, terrifying, and exhausting. I’ve read many a blog post (tongue-in-cheek) about the joys and tragedies of having a CSA share. Seriously, if you do not love to cook, I’m not sure how you handle all this produce. We are currently overrun with cucumbers (3 batches of pickles), zucchini (brownies and zucchini bread), corn (6-8 ears a week!), and here come the tomatoes, peppers, and basil (1 batch of sauce yesterday handled those three in one application). We are still sort of doing the grain-free thing at our house, and I used the box of quinoa-based pasta in a salad last week, so I decided to make this pasta salad with quinoa instead. It’s from June 2015’s Good Housekeeping. I can’t find an online version anywhere except a picture of the clipping on a Pinterest page:
Farmers’ Market Pasta
1 pound campanelle or penne pasta
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 tsp. plus 1/4 cup olive oil
4 large ears corn, husked
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, crushed with press
12 oz. multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- Heat outdoor grill on medium-high. Cook pasta as label directs. Soak onion in ice water for at least 30 minutes.
- Fold 12″ by 30″ sheet of aluminum foil in half. In large bowl, toss green beans with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1/8 tsp of salt. Place beans in center of foil. Crimp edges of foil to seal tightly. Grill 15 minutes, turning over once halfway through. Grill corn 8-10 minutes or until charred in spots, turning occasionally.
- Transfer bean packet and corn to cutting board, let cool. In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 cup oil, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Add cooked pasta and tomatoes to bowl, tossing to combine.
- When cool enough to handle, slice beans into 2 inch lengths and cut corn kernels from cobs. Add to bowl with pasta along with basil, tossing until well combined. Drain onions, pat dry, and add to pasta, tossing.
Serves 8: about 355 cal, 11 g protein, 60 g carbs, 10 g fat (2 g sat) 4 grams fiber, 275 mg sodium
I cooked 3 cups of dry quinoa, intending to use it in another recipe (post coming soon). Oops! It made much more than I expected. I sauteed my grean beans and microwaved my corn. I’m sure the grill flavor is lovely, but my corn was already cooked before I decided on this recipe, so maybe I’ll grill the veggies next time. I didn’t have sherry vinegar, so I used a raspberry balsamic vinegar instead. Our grean beans were from the farmers’ market, and I added some peas that we got there as well. It was handy that the CSA contained red onions this week. Only the tomatoes came from the store.
Verdict: delicious! The quinoa was light and highlighted the crisp vegetables. I loved the sweetness of the raspberry in the vinaigrette (but you could just as easily use a store-bought Italian dressing or other flavored vinaigrette). The onion and basil added great pops of flavor, as did each vegetable in turn. I will definitely be making this one again. This would make a perfect picnic dish or side dish if you wanted to bring something fresh and healthy to a barbecue or dinner party. People might rather have the traditional pasta salad, but I thought the quinoa substitution was great (adjust your nutrition information accordingly).