This is such a delightful summer dish! I absolutely adore grilled asparagus and it’s so good in this lemony pasta salad. Pine nuts and feta cheese take this pasta salad over the top!
I love penne for this since the shape complements asparagus spears but you can of course use whatever you want! You’ll want to make the dressing first (it takes literally a minute or two to whisk together) and have it ready to go before you cook the pasta, because you want to immediately pour half of the dressing on the warm noodles.
While the pasta is cooling, I pop out to grill the asparagus. If you’ve never done it before, don’t fret! It takes about five minutes. Grilled asparagus is so underrated. It’s probably the vegetable I grill the most often because it’s so quick and easy and delicious leftover.
You can eat this dish as soon as you make it but it’s also fantastic as a chilled pasta salad. I feel like the smokiness from the grilled asparagus really comes out when the dish is chilled. It’s delicious on its own or with poached shrimp. I was so happy after a long workday on one of the first hot summer nights this week to pull this out of the fridge to eat with shrimp. You don’t get an easier summer dinner!
1 bunch asparagus
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt, black pepper
1 box penne pasta
Lemon dressing, recipe follows
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp pine nuts
- Preheat grill to about 350 degrees. Snap ends off of asparagus spears and discard. Toss asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Depending on thickness of asparagus, grill for 2-5 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and bend a bit when you pick them up. So easy!
- Meanwhile, cook penne according to package directions. Drain and toss with half of the lemon dressing (recipe below). Cool 15 minutes.
- Toss penne with grilled asparagus, feta cheese, pine nuts, and remaining dressing. Chill until ready to serve. Also delicious served with poached shrimp!
Zest from one large or two small lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice (one large or two small lemons)
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Zest and juice lemons. Slowly whisk in olive oil and dried oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.