Spring Fling Pasta Salad + How to Clean and Cook Artichoke Hearts

Happy Monday, all! How was your long weekend? Ours was fabulous. Very long, relaxing, and chocolate filled, just as I suspected.

The Easter bunny stopped by Sunday morning, delivering far more chocolate than I know what to do with. I was impressed to find little treat bags tied with bright green bows. The bunny sure went all out this year, even left a little something for himself.

*cough* kinder surprise…

After the bunny rrr… Kevin and I finished our chocolate-filled first breakfast, we decided a more balanced meal was in order. We treated ourselves to apricot delight breakfast rolls, eggs, roasted veggies and flax milk. It was an Easter feast!

I went for an afternoon run to wear off some of the sugar, then spent some time in the kitchen making a Spring themed gluten-free pasta salad for my parents’ Easter dinner.

Radishes, edamame, shallots, dill, lemon, artichokes… Spring has sprung!

The creamy sauce really is something. So lemony and fresh!

Perfect for a girl that’s officially overdosed on chocolate and sugar.

We went over to my parents’ house around 4pm and had an early dinner (in their standards) at 6pm. We spent the evening chatting over barbecued turkey, pasta salad, purple rice, and roasted garlic asparagus. It was delightful!

Around halfway through the meal conversation became minimal. Both my Mom and Dad had pushed away their turkey, asparagus and rice and made their bowl of pasta salad the focus of their attention. I’ve never seen my Dad pass up meat for anything! He even compared it to his famous potato salad. Ha!

Spring Fling Pasta Salad

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Spring inspired gluten-free, vegan pasta salad with lemon cream dressing, radishes, artichokes, shallots and edamame.

Yield: 6 cups

Servings: 6

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Ingredients

Lemon cream dressing

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad

  • 2 cups uncooked spiral rice pasta, cooked according to package instructions, rinsed and drained very well
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, boiled for 4 minutes
  • 2 large artichoke hearts, cooked – instructions below
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup multicolored radishes, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Prepare pasta, edamame, and artichokes stuffed with garlic cloves. While everything is cooking, chop shallot and radishes. Set aside.
  2. To prepare cream dressing, blend water, cashews, lemon juice, mayo, mustard and garlic until mixed. Adjust lemon juice to taste. I liked it at the 1/3 cup mark and the dressing slightly thicker. If you want to thin the dressing out, you can add 1-2 tablespoon of extra water.
  3. Pour blended sauce into a mason jar and add parsley, green onion, dill, zest, salt and pepper. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Combine all ingredients together and mix well until pasta is coated. Serve immediately.

Rice pasta hardens when it’s in the fridge. If you’re taking this salad for leftovers, allow to sit on the counter for approximately 30 minutes to soften up.

View nutrition info

Generally I just buy canned artichokes for my recipes, but I wanted to switch it up this weekend and decided to clean and cook fresh artichokes for this salad.

At $3-$4 each, I’ve always considered fresh artichokes to be a big treat. When I was in college, I’d buy artichokes every couple of months, steam them and rip one leaf off at a time, dipping them in garlic infused coconut oil. Oh my gosh, it was so delicious.

As I was preparing this artichoke for our pasta salad I realized college was probably the last time I’d had fresh artichoke. Well overdue, I’d say!

Okay, here’s how I prepared the artichoke…

Start by trimming the stems so that they can stand up on their own.

Peel away the leaves and stuff each artichoke with 3 cloves of garlic.

You want to bury the cloves in the leaves, push the clove down as far as it will go.

Then squeeze the artichoke tight.

Place the artichokes in a steamer… one that fits the height of the artichoke would be best.

#fail

Steam for 20 minutes, or until leaves pull away from the bud easily.

Remove from the heat and begin pulling away the leaves.

Keep pulling the leaves off. You’ll come to a purple flower… keep peeling.

Peel until you get to a fuzzy center.

You cannot eat the fuzzy center, so scoop that baby out with a spoon!

Once the artichoke heart is exposed, sprinkle a little lemon juice on it so it doesn’t brown too much.

Cut away the dark center and slice the heart up for the salad.

You’ll be left with a bunch of artichoke leaves in the end that you can snack on while you prepare the rest of your salad.

Yum!

I forgot just how good artichokes are! What’s your favorite artichoke recipe?

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