So y’all. I have a shameful secret that I am embarrassed to admit. Promise you won’t judge me? Here it goes: I am addicted to Real Housewives. There is something strangely enjoyable and therapeutic about watching rich women get drunk and scream at other that I just can’t explain. I could seriously watch Dorinda scream “I MADE IT NICE!!” a thousand times and never stop feeling anything but pure joy. As someone who goes 150 miles per hour all day and constantly worries about everything, the mindless nonsense of Real Housewives has some sort of hypnotic, anxiety-reducing effects on me. Andy Cohen should seriously consider patenting some sort of Real Housewives therapy program.
In an attempt to salvage what little pride I have left, let me be clear that I do not watch every Real Housewives franchise. Only certain cities are included in my obsession. Because my faves all air at different times throughout the year, I associate each season with the Real Housewives series it brings with it.
As we trudge through the end of gloomy winter each year, I look forward to Spring for its warming weather, its budding flowers and most importantly, the premier of Real Housewives of New York. This is my #1 all-time absolutely favorite series, hands down. I love the ladies, I love the drama, I love the city. RHONY is the perfect embodiment of Spring: both are bright, energetic, make your eyes water and chest tighten.
Just like RHONY, this Spring Veggie Pasta Salad epitomizes Spring. (And there you were thinking I had forgotten this is a recipe post…) It is chock-full of healthy, seasonal ingredients including asparagus, peas, artichokes, lemon and dill. This salad is not to be confused nor associated with those awful creamy pasta salads you’re used to seeing at the Wal-Mart deli counter. You know the ones that look like a nondescript grey blob of mayonnaise? Yikes.
Light and fresh, my Spring Veggie Pasta Salad is quite the opposite. This is probably the only pasta recipe I’ve ever eaten that I would describe as “refreshing.” The bright lemon, feta and dill complement the cool asparagus, artichokes and peas to produce a perfectly well-rounded dish. Plus, the beautiful green and yellow rainbow of ingredients make this dish look as appealing as it tastes!
A cold serving of Spring Veggie Pasta Salad is an excellent accompaniment to all things grilled, which is great now that the weather is warmer. Make a batch this weekend and invite some friends over for a laid-back cookout. Or enjoy a giant bowl alone on your couch watching Real Housewives. Spring Veggie Pasta Salad is very versatile.
- 1 pound pasta (I used Trottole, but any short pasta like penne, bow-tie, etc. would work!)
- 1 pound asparagus, cut into pieces and blanched
- 2 cups peas
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
- ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Cut asparagus into equal 1-inch pieces. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add in asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened but still firm to the touch.
- Add asparagus, chopped artichoke hearts, halved tomatoes and peas to the cooked pasta.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, honey, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Pour dressing on the pasta. Mix together well.
- Sprinkle feta cheese and dill over the top.
- For best results, let pasta salad rest for at least an hour. Store in refrigerator.