RECIPE: Asparagus Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Left Over Chicken
Asparagus is in season, and so is the hot weather! I made a great asparagus pasta salad using whole wheat spirals and fresh grape tomatoes AND left over chicken. If you don't have left over chicken, you can cook the chicken in a saute pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. When the chicken is golden, remove from pan and then deglaze it with the broth indicated below, and boil it down from there. Otherwise, follow the recipe as is-and get rid of some left over chicken from the night before. This recipe is cool and refreshing-and healthy (and my daughter gave it a thumbs up, too!)
1 lb. green asparagus, bottoms trimmed and cut in 1" pieces
1 lb. whole wheat pasta rotini (or other)
2 grilled chicken breasts, cooled
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (I like mixing baby bellas and regular white mushrooms)
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. ground dried garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. parsley
6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
10 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried and crumpled rosemary
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 oz. Montrachet soft goat cheese, roughly chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
In a big pan, cook pasta according to package directions. After 5 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus to the water and blanche with the pasta. When done, drain all of it in a colander and spray down with cool water. Add 2 cups of ice to the colander and shake around. Let the ice cool down the pasta and asparagus while you finish the dish. Toss it around every once in a while so it cools evenly.
While cooking pasta, heat a large skillet with the 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the granulated garlic and parsley and whirl around the oil. Add the chicken broth and cook on high until broth is reduced to 1/2 cup. Let cool.
Cut your tomatoes and put in a large serving bowl.
Cut your chicken in 1-2 inch pieces and put in your serving bowl.
Now make your dressing. To your cooled broth reduction, add the vinegar and spices. While whisking add the oil until emulsified.
Chop your basil.
In your bowl, add your cooled pasta and mushrooms. Toss with a spoon. Add your dressing and toss again. Add your basil and toss again.
Add the cheese and toss gently. Serve cool.