A friend stopped by with some fresh morels the other day, and this is what became of them – a simple recipe for Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Morels & Lemon Parsley Dressing. Of course, you don’t have to have morels to make this salad, most any mushroom will do, but tis’ the season. This can be served at room temperature, or chilled to serve later. The zesty flavorful dressing is refreshing and bright and compliments Spring veggies very well. Use rice noodles to make this gluten free. The salad whips up quickly and easily — perfect for your next gathering or weekday lunches. Keep it vegan or dust with Pecorino, and of course you can substitute gluten-free pasta.
These pretty little guys came from my friend Tonya’s family farm on the Palouse. Simply cut them in half and give them a quick saute with olive oil and shallot and salt, taking care not to over cook, which may make them too soft, and cause them to disintegrate in the pasta salad.
Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces, discarding the tough ends. While the pasta is cooking and the veggies are sauteing, chop the parsley and scallions, using the entire bunch of each.
Drain the pasta, place in a bowl and top with the veggies, herbs, lemon zest and juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper and toss well. It’s ready to serve now, or chill for later.
Brian likes a little pungent cheese grated over top, like Pecorino or Parmesan. I added some chili flakes to mine.
- 8 ounces pasta ( use rice noodles to make this gluten free)
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot - finely chopped (or ⅓ cup finely chopped onion)
- 6 ounces mushrooms (morels, creminis, white button, shiitakes)
- 1 bunch asparagus: cut into 1 inch pieces - don't use tough ends. (2-3 cups)
- salt and pepper
- 1 bunch Italian Parsley- chopped
- 5 scallions, chopped
- Zest of one small lemon, plus 1-2 tablespoons juice.
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic: finely minced (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Garnish with grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional)
- Place pasta water to boil on the stove, cook pasta according to directions.
- Finely chop the shallot and prep the mushrooms (cut the morels in half or bite size pieces)
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat, add shallot and cook 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add mushrooms, season with salt and stir occasionally until lightly cooked, about 5 minutes. Set aside and saute the asparagus,seasoning again with salt, and cook just until tender and bright green.
- Drain the pasta and place in a bowl.
- Top with the mushrooms, asparagus, the chopped parsley and scallions.
- Add the lemon zest and one tablespoon lemon juice. Add garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well to combine. Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt if you like.
- Keep in the mind the cheese will add salt, as well.