It's the time for newness, for freshness, for green. What's your springtime routine? What do you do to let the freshness in, to start anew again?
In my house, it's about opening the windows on that first nice day. A fresh breeze can get the stale out of any situation, I'll tell you that much. And it's also about uncovering the grill and focusing some attention on easy, light, simple food with big, fresh flavors, because when good things are going on food must always play a part.
This spring weekend, we spent lots of lovely, food-filled quality time with family, and it felt like coming out of hibernation, like coming alive again.
We also spent a lot of time watching golf. I must have Spring on the brain because I repeatedly commented on how green the aerial shots of Augusta's course looked until my husband pointed out that I was looking at computer-generated images. Like I said, I'm still clearing out all the winter cobwebs.
This recipe idea was originally meant to include turkey sausage or ground beef and be a southwestern main meal dinner salad, which sounds sorta delicious, but are you noticing a Type A Kitchen theme lately? With recent recipes like Spring Tuna Salad and Chicken Stew, I'm not exactly branching out of my comfort zone all too often. You know I love one-dish meals where I can mold myself into the couch and stab twenty different flavors/textures onto my fork at once, but I think it's time to move on. It's Spring afterall.
With this in mind, and since a last minute change of plans had me re-evaluating my dinner menu for the week (and who am I kidding, "last minute change of plans" to me is anything that changes in my schedule after I've already set it up, which is usually done, like, three days in advance. Spontaneity, I hardly know you.), I decided to scrap the main dish idea and focus on a delicious and hearty side dish instead.
This salad combines whole wheat pasta with my favorite southwestern ingredients such as black beans, avocado, cumin, corn, and red pepper. Dressed in a lemon-y vinaigrette, it perfectly complimented an herb-marinated grilled pork tenderloin and angel food cake with fresh berries for dessert. Light, fresh, simple.
Here's a Spring-time Type A Kitchen original recipe. Enjoy!
Southwestern Pasta Salad
A Type A Kitchen Original
1 c frozen corn, thawed (or kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c scallions, chopped (1/2 large bunch)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 lb short pasta, cooked al dente (I used medium shells)
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl, toss together the corn, garlic, cumin, and 2 tbs olive oil. Transfer to a small roasting pan or baking sheet, and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done, set aside.
In a large bowl, cimbine the beans, scallions, red pepper, and avocado.
Add in the roasted corn and gently toss together. Add in the pasta and mix well.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the lemon juice, 1/3 c olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add in the cilantro, and pour over the salad. Toss well to coat. Let stand at least 25-30 minutes or overnight before serving.