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Author Notes: This recipe was born out of a last minute need to bring a main dish salad to a pot luck, when I was lucky enough to have been to the farmers market a few days before. Featuring fresh spinach, ramps, asparagus and spearmint, my husband dubbed it "spring in a bowl." I'm not a fan of pot lucks or pasta salads, but was pleased with this. This is my first recipe submission; refinements welcome! —Baguette & Beurre
Makes one large serving bowlful of pasta salad
- 1 pound Orzo -- or pasta of your choice
- 1 pound Spinach
- 1 cup Tart Greek yohurt
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 2 bunches Ramps
- 1 bunch Asparagus
- 3 tablespoons Preserved lemon, diced or slivered
- 4-5 sprigs Fresh spearmint
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 Lemons, juiced
- Prepare the spinach by triple washing it, then wilting it in the water that remains clinging to the leaves. Squeeze dry, then return to the pan with enough water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer till fully cooked, which will vary depending on the tenderness of the spinach. Purée with a hand blender.
- Steam the asparagus. Cut into 1-2 inch pieces on the diagonal, leaving the tips in tact.
- To prepare the ramps for this dish, wash them and trim the ends, then chiffonade the leaves and slice the white bulbs. Sautee in a little olive oil.
- Prepare the dressing by combining the spinach purée, yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Strip the mint leaves from their stalks, stack and slice into slivers.
- Boil the orzo until done to your liking. For cold pasta, I prefer it to be more fully cooked than al dente.
- Combine the drained pasta with the dressing, ramps and asparagus. Chill.
- Before serving, add the mint and preserved lemon. Taste and adjust seasoning.