By the Gracious Vegan
I started this recipe inspired by a dish in Jeanne Lemlin’s “Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures.” I made a lot of changes to get the sugar and oil out, plus I thought snow peas would be a good addition. There are so many great flavors and textures in this salad—your mouth will have a great time! The Asian-inspired dressing is mellow and satisfies that sweet-sour craving many of us have.
Makes about 8 cups (6 servings)
See last ingredient in the recipe, roasted almonds. Begin roasting them if they are not already roasted.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Make sure the asparagus and snow peas are prepped. Add the pasta to the water and cook for all but the last 4 minutes of the cooking time (e.g., if directions say 9 minutes to al dente, boil them for 5 minutes before adding the asparagus).
8 ounces whole grain pasta (I used whole wheat rotini—corkscrew—pasta)
Then add the asparagus to the pot, bring quickly back to a boil, and boil 2 minutes.
1 pound asparagus, bottoms peeled, then cut diagonally into 1.5-inch pieces
Then add the snow peas to the pot, bring quickly back to a boil, and boil 1 minute. Then drain the whole mixture under very cold water to stop further cooking.
8 ounces snow peas, sliced once on the diagonal
Dressing. Blend all dressing ingredients in a Nutribullet or with an immersion (stick) blender and blend until the dates are dissolved.
1/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons Chinese roasted sesame paste
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
5 medium dates (or 3 Medjool dates), soaked if hard (or 1.5 Tablespoons brown sugar)
Freshly ground pepper
Bringing it all together. Toss the pasta and vegetables with the following ingredients and the dressing.
4 scallions, thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Best served at room temperature, but chilled tastes good too!
Timing: About 30 minutes
Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO
Gluten-free if gluten-free pasta is used