I just signed up for a weekly co-op package in the community where we live and it’s making my gleefully excited.
I used to do a delivered co-op years and years ago when we were in Boston. It was so great since it was all organic and it helped us get creative with meals when things like kale, watermelon radishes, pea shoots, etc. The variety was nice and it helped us be creative with our meals as we tried out new recipes to use the fruits and veggies we received.
A neighbor told me about the co-op that is hosted on FB so I checked it out and immediately signed up. It’s affordable at $20 for a small box and $30 for a larger one. But they aren’t small to begin with, you get plenty of things! You can swap things out and even add things on. It’s great.
I think it will help save us money since this box is really affordable (not everything is organic) and will help us eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the week. This week the box I purchased included: 3 Beefsteak Tomatoes, Mangoes, 1 Hydro Bib lettuce, Miniolas (Honeybells), 5+ Yellow Squash, Gala Apples, 1 bunch Asparagus, 2 Avocados,1 bag of Mini Carrots, a bunch of Bananas, 1 Red Onion, and 1 Yellow Onion. A total deal for $20A As well, they had a 1 ounce bag of microgreens from a local farm as a bonus that was added to the box. There are always add-ons you can select but I stuck with the standard box for now, but I know I’ll be checking them out too in the future.
The pickup for our community is on Tuesday nights and we already have been using up the goods. Apples sliced up at breakfast, avocados added to turkey tacos, and the bunny and I split a tomato.
I was really excited about the bunch of tender asparagus since and I just knew what do with it… Pasta Salad!!
I whipped up this pasta in no time to serve along with some chicken. It was such a great side dish for some chicken that we were having for dinner. I certainly could have just steamed the asparagus and squeezed some lemon on it, and it would have been great, but I really wanted something extra fun as a side dish.
The rotini is a great shape for pasta salads, but if you don’t have that on hand then grab a box of penne or bow ties. I almost used a box of whole wheat rotini but I didn’t think it would be as pretty. ha!!!
There is a lot of shallot in this recipe. It is not a mistake. Trust me. It cooks down and gets nice and mellow in flavor. It gives it a great complex oniony flavor without you just tossing in some red onion (which is delish, by the way) or garlic.
I used a sun-dried tomato basil seasoned one from Aldi, but a plain goat cheese would be just as awesome. Just make sure the pasta salad is nice and cool before you add it in or it’s just gonna melt through as you mix it in. Not a bad situation, but I think the little chunks of goat cheese as you take a bite gives it such a good pop in flavor.
Now, grab a blanket, some fried chicken, chilled rose, and this pasta salad to enjoy a picnic in the gorgeous spring weather!
Spring Time Pasta Salad
Makes 10-12 servings
- 1 pound rotini pasta, or pasta with a similar shape
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 Cup diced shallot
- 1 pound thin stalked asparagus, cut into pieces similar in size to the pasta (approx 1″)
- 2-3 ounces of sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
- 8 ounces of crumbled goat cheese
For the dressing
- 3/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Cook the pasta in well salted water until it is al dente, according to the pasta’s instructions. Drain and rinse well, let cool in a large mixing bowl.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat, saute the shallots until translucent and tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the asparagus to the shallots. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the asparagus is bright in color and soft, but still crisp.
- While the asparagus is cooking, mix together all of the dressing ingredients.
- Add the cooked shallots and asparagus to the cooled pasta. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and dressing. Mix well.
- Chill for 30 minutes prior to adding the goat cheese, mix well again. Enjoy!