Test Kitchen: Honey Mustard Pasta Salad

I’m writing about this month’s recipe sitting under a blanket and hoping the winter weather advisory that’s been issued doesn’t end up being as serious as it sounds. In my heart, though, it’s 75 and sunny. And hopefully, by the time you read this, that will be the reality (or closer to the reality. I understand April in Ohio is still a big gamble.)

I’m writing about this month’s recipe sitting under a blanket and hoping the winter weather advisory that’s been issued doesn’t end up being as serious as it sounds.

In my heart, though, it’s 75 and sunny. And hopefully, by the time you read this, that will be the reality (or closer to the reality. I understand April in Ohio is still a big gamble.)

But let’s pretend spring finally has arrived. This honey mustard pasta salad from Abbey’s Kitchen will make the perfect dinner or side dish. It’s colorful, it’s healthy and it’s easy to make.

First, some problem-solving. When I headed to the grocery store, there were several components of this recipe I couldn’t find: whole-grain fusilli, honey Dijon mustard and watermelon radish.

I made up some workarounds. The simplest was buying whole-grain rotini instead of fusilli. I understand they are two different pastas, but honestly, they don’t look that different to me. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you could use almost any pasta you wanted with this recipe—just as long as you easily can spear it with a fork.

I was able to find both honey mustard and Dijon mustard, so I used three tablespoons of honey mustard and two tablespoons of Dijon mustard when making the dressing.

And I bought regular radishes. They are less pretty than the watermelon variety, and that was a bummer. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

Also, I got a rotisserie chicken instead of preparing two chicken breasts. I removed the skin from the chicken I needed and then shredded it, which I think made things go quicker.

Because of the way magazine world works, I prepped the salad on a Tuesday, but it didn’t get photographed until Wednesday. I put the chicken, spinach, pasta and veggies in the salad bowl overnight and reserved the dressing, feta, strawberries and uncut avocado in separate containers to avoid sogginess.

With or without the chicken, I see this salad as a complete meal and one that can accommodate whatever leftover fruit and veggies you have in your fridge.

Recipe
INGREDIENTS:
1 lb whole grain fusilli pasta
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup snap peas, trimmed
5 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced
2 cups baby spinach (chiffonade)
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Pinch each of salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook the whole grain pasta according to the box instructions. In the last 2 minutes, add in the asparagus and peas to the pot. Drain the pasta and vegetables and set aside to cool.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the honey Dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper, to taste.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, asparagus, peas, chicken, spinach, strawberries, avocado and radish to the salad along with the dressing. Season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, and garnish with feta cheese.

SOURCE: abbeyskitchen.com

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass