Strawberry and pesto pasta salad

Strawberry and pesto pasta salad

By
From
Green Kitchen At Home
Serves
6
Photographer
David Frenkiel

Pasta salad has got a pretty bad rep thanks to the heavy mayo and ham salads from the 90s. Our modern version is easy on the eye and much fresher, with a bounty of fruit and veggies to complement the pasta. Mixing pesto with avocado for the dressing makes it creamy, rich and flavourful yet still light.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g wholegrain or gluten-free pasta of choice
1 broccoli, head and stalk
2 carrots, tops removed and peeled
250g fresh strawberries, tops removed
250g cherry tomatoes
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 handful fresh basil, leaves picked

Pesto and avocado dressing

Quantity Ingredient
75g Perfect pesto
or 75g store-bought pesto
1 ripe avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

Quantity Ingredient
shaved slices of pecorino, grana padano or parmigiano reggiano
toasted pine nuts
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and the pasta, stir, and cook until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into small florets, trim and roughly chop the stalk and place them in a sieve over the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and broccoli and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, season to taste, mash until combined and set aside.
  4. Thinly slice the carrots, cut the strawberries into quarters and the tomatoes in half. Transfer the pasta and broccoli to a large serving bowl, add the rest of the ingredients along with the dressing and gently toss until everything is well coated. Add a dash of water if you need to loosen the dressing. Serve topped with some pecorino, a sprinkling of pine nuts, seasoning and a drizzle of oil.

Tips

  • For a nut-free alternative, replace the pine nuts with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.

    For a vegan alternative, replace the pecorino with a vegan hard cheese.
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