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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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


  • 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


  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.


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.


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

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Ooh yay, someone else is into chokes too! I’m glad you did a how to prep post today, because I’ve got a how to stuff artichokes one coming up next week! I think stuffed is my favourite way to eat them, but I love how you used them in this salad. Very light and springy! :)

  2. Love the recipe. Never used a radish before. Do you have to peel it? Can you use the outside skin?

    • Hi Addie – as Sophie mentioned (thanks Sophie!) you do not peel the radish, just wash them really good and you’re good to go!

  3. I love the step-by-step guide!!!! Thanks for that :)

    (Addie: I know I am not Leanne, but you don’t peel radishes! Just wash them thoroughly)

  4. I’ve never seen the garlic clove idea- brilliant, I bet it adds a great flavor. Growing up we always had stuffed artichoke leaves with stuffing, and I thought that was the only way to eat them…. didn’t even know there was a heart in the middle to enjoy! These days I typically dip the leaves in a garlic butter and enjoy them that way. Such a perfect spring vegetable.

  5. Wow … I used this dressing over a mixed zucchini noodle salad today,,very flavourful

  6. This salad looks amazing, I am so obsessed with using raw cashews to make creamy pasta sauces these days. Thank you so much for sharing your how-to on the artichokes. They honestly intimidate me. I bought fresh ones once, and it ended terribly. Me yelling and throwing them all out after totally butchering them. Maybe I will give it a try again! :)

  7. AHhhh I LOVE Kinder Surprise!!! I have the best childhood memories from Russia- my mom would buy me a Kinder Surprise and I my goal was always to open the egg without cracking the chocolate. I haven’t had one in a verrry long time (haven’t been back to Russia in 8 yrs :( )and have yet to find Kinder Surprise here in the U.S. You are a lucky girl :)

    • Aw, that’s so sweet. I love hearing stories like that, thanks for sharing it with us. I’m surprised that they don’t have Kinder Surprise in the U.S! That amazes me. They’re everywhere in Canada! Do you live close to the boarder?

  8. This looks wonderful — I’m going to try it using zucchini noodles, although my spiralizer broke recently (SO SAD).
    FYI about the Kinder eggs — they’re everywhere here in Germany, but we are not allowed to send them to the USA. They’re banned! Crazy, eh?

    • What? You can’t send them to the US? Wow… this totally blows my mind! Would love to know how it works out with the zucchini noodles once you get a new spiralizer. That IS sad that it broke. I don’t know what I would do without mine!

  9. Great photo step-by-step…. I must admit it’s been FAR too long since I have cooked artichokes like this… and I know they are delicious so I have no excuse. Love the green + yellow hues in your photos, such smiley, happy colours!

  10. Could you share how you make the garlic-infused coconut oil? It sounds so good!!

    • Sure thing. I usually just added 2 whole garlic cloves, smashed but not broken apart to 1/4 cup coconut oil with 1/8 tsp salt. I placed it in a small saucepan on medium heat for about 5 minutes or so, then removed the garlic and used the oil for dipping. Enjoy!

  11. Leanne, your blog is looking AMAZING!! Love the changes you made. Will be linking to this pasta tomorrow :)

    • Thanks, Marla! It was a really fun project and so overdue! Can’t wait to see the post, thanks for including me :)

  12. Unfortunately, cashews still are ‘nuts’ to me! What could you use instead?

    • Hi Nicole – I’m sure that you could use soaked sunflower seeds in this recipe. Same amount, just soak in water for a couple of hours, drain and you’re good to go!

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