Strawberries and pasta? Why not! This fun and colourful salad has a bounty of fresh fruit and veg and the pesto avocado dressing is creamy yet light. Enjoy in the sunshine with a glass of something cold.
Strawberry and pesto pasta salad
300g dry pasta
1 broccoli, head and stalk
2 carrots, tops removed and peeled
250g fresh strawberries, hulled
1 nectarine, sliced
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 handful fresh basil leaves
Pesto and avocado dressing:
75g homemade* or shop-bought pesto
1 ripe avocado
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Shavings of pecorino or parmesan
Toasted pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Cook the pasta until al dente.
2 Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into small florets, trim and roughly chop stalks and place in a sieve over the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and broccoli and set aside.
3 Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, season and mash until combined.
4 Thinly slice the carrots, quarter the strawberries, slice the nectarine and halve the tomatoes. Transfer the pasta and broccoli to a large serving bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and dressing and gently toss to coat. Add a dash of water if you need to loosen the dressing.
5 Serve topped with pecorino, a sprinkling of pine nuts, seasoning and a drizzle of oil.
*To make homemade pesto, you will need:
100g fresh basil, leaves and stems picked
60g grana padano or parmesan, grated
50g pine nuts, toasted
80ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, season to taste and blend until well combined. Store the pesto in the fridge in a sealable glass jar and it will keep for about a week. Alternatively, roll it into a log using a sheet of greaseproof paper and store it in the freezer.
Taken from Green Kitchen at Home by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant).