Simple Artichoke Pasta Salad

Artichoke Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com

Everyone is looking for a balanced diet right? Well, I’m pretty sure this has all the major food groups in it, so just pick up a fork and roll with it. My life could sustain solely on everything in this salad – because the pillars of any good, balanced diet include sweet peppers, carbs in pasta form, lemon spritzed everywhere and on everything, marinated artichokes that fall to pieces in your mouth, and four cloves of garlic when only two are required. See, balance. This simple artichoke pasta salad should probably be called artichoke pasta salad salad, but that’s just semantics. Ben was entirely thrown off by the addition of the lettuce to the “pasta salad”, but that’s fine – more for ME! I’m so selfless. And I’m so totally going to be making another batch of this pronto.

The lemon, dijon and garlic combo is just one for the record books – and opening my mouth and shoveling this in was quite possibly one of the most unlady like spectacles seen since Lindsay Lohan did anything, ever. But you’ll forgive my artichoke salad induced unladylikeness because once you try this you will see – it’s worth every second of shoveling. Dear god it’s good.

Artichoke Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com

On another note – I’m not one to normally whine and squawk over the changes in daylight savings time, but was this particular switch really hard on anyone else? A whole hour leapt forward, lost to oblivion? Sure it’s only one hour of one day – but that one hour came out of my weekend! Couldn’t that one hour have sprung forward today, on a Monday when we all know it is going to be dragging on an on just because it’s Monday and it can!?

If ever there was a day to be jumped forward an hour – it’s a Monday. Give us something here people!Artichoke Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com

Those Day Light Savings Time Keepers…  How Wwwwude..

Whoa, my 90’s kid tag line alter ego just slipped out. Get back in there Stephanie Tanner, no one has time for your slap bracelets and neon geometric sweaters. Oh, who are we kidding, we all do.

Artichoke Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com

So kids, lesson of the day – bust out a really big fork, devour THIS. jumper into your 90’s neon sweater and Netflix some Full House (is it even on Netflix, because if it is – my sit-on-my-can time just got booked), and relive the glory days.

Artichoke Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com

Also – I can not be help responsible if Nana writes you out of the will because you bring this to your next family picnic and it boots her sad soggy canned pea and pasta salad to second place. Just a proper warning. 

Take a peek at these other veggie filled recipes:

Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables – Country Cleaver

Spicy Pork and Veggie Lettuce Wraps – Simply Scratch

Cuban Black Beans and Rice – Closet Cooking

Mexican Corn Salad – ValSoCal

Spicy Vegetable Coconut Curry – Country Cleaver

Yield: 2 (easy to multiply)

Artichoke Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

6 ounces Pasta Shells
2 cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp Mayonaise
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
½ tsp Lemon Zest
4 tsp Lemon Juice
½ cup Marinated Artichoke Hearts
2 Tbsp Artichoke Marinade
1 Tbsp Grated Parmesan
2 cups Eescarole or Lettuce

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water. Drain.

Mince garlic. Add minced garlic to a small bowl. Add in mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice and artichoke marinade. Whisk together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta water to thin it out. Toss drained pasta into the sauce and coat pasta throughly. Mix in artichoke hearts and parmesan cheese. Place in fridge to chill and let flavors develop. 30 minutes to 1 hour.

When ready to serve, pasta and artichokes with rinsed and chopped lettuce or escarole. Serve immediately, sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

*Note* it is best not to combine pasta/sauce with lettuce until right before serving or the lettuce will wilt.

Adapted from Everday Food Magazine November 2012