Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Asparagus

Our backyard was a busy place last weekend, with family and friends dropping by and staying to visit. It’s exactly how I love summer life to unfold, with spontaneous spritz on the patio and campfire s’mores just for kicks.

A vegetable-packed pasta salad is one of the ways I like to feed a crowd without too much effort, especially when it is sweltering outside. You can make it in advance or whip it up at the last minute; serve it on its own or with a side of grilled sausages.

It’s fast to prep, is easily customizable and enjoyed by all. Simply put, pasta salad is just smart, simple summer cooking – which is why I can’t believe I’ve never shared a recipe for it until today. Today’s recipe for Mediterranean Pasta Salad is our go-to salad during the hot months. I give my version, but also suggest plenty of ingredient variations for you to make it your own.

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The best asparagus recipes

On a weekend excursion to the market I spied the first local asparagus and brought home two fat bundles for dinner.

I added it to the grill, along with our flank steaks, and finished everything with a lemon-ramp (wild garlic) compound butter. It was an absolutely epic way to finish off the May long weekend. And now that asparagus is here, it’s going on the menu plan just about every day.

When it is harvested in its prime, asparagus doesn’t need much more than a little butter and salt; however, should you want to play around in the kitchen, this is Spring’s most versatile vegetable. From pizza to pickles, prepare to be inspired by this round-up of the best asparagus recipes from Simple Bites.

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Asparagus and Bacon Quiche: a tutorial

Practical. Versatile. Classic. These are all words I have scribbled in the margins of my handwritten quiche recipe.

I grew up on this savoury tart, and I am determined to sell you on the wonderful simplicity of a well-made quiche. It’s practical because it can be enjoyed at any temperature and it holds up well (even in the freezer). The adaptable fillings make it a versatile dinner option – just use up bits of leftover cooked vegetables and scraps of cheese.

And you already know this part – the quiche is a classic, beloved dish. It can make an appearance at an elegant brunch or show up in the basket of a rustic spring picnic. No matter where or when quiche is served, it’s always a welcome addition to a meal and home cooks should have a solid recipe in their repertoire. That’s where I come in today!

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June camping and a Spring Green Campfire Frittata

The first camping trip of the year was somewhat of a revelation: my kids have finally grown up enough to stay out of trouble while we’re out in the woods.

At ages 5, 9 and 11 they are tearing around the trails, making new friends, climbing stuff, inventing games and working up a ferocious appetite. After a decade of keeping them from falling in the fire or falling off a cliff, I can actually relax and putter around camp – a complete novelty.

Cooking outdoors is how I hygge in summer. I love it all. The camp kitchen set up. The campfire foil dinners. Cooking an early breakfast on the camp stove. Yes, even washing the dishes. It’s a good thing I enjoy the food prep aspect of camping because every few hours my crew was famished.

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Pesto & Ricotta-filled Asparagus and Radish Tarts

Spring is very much in the air. I can feel it, even if the garden still sleeps under a foot of snow.

The ice on the river near our place is breaking up and the tops of the trees in the yard have started to bud. Soon the sap will be flowing in the maples and we can tap their trunks for a new sugaring off season.

I’m anticipating the spring thaw as eagerly as my children awaiting their first batch of maple taffy on snow. It can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, Clara built another snowman on the first day of spring.

I warmed one of these tarts for my lunch while watching her play – they are like a promise of good things to come: our own baby radishes, local asparagus and the warm winds of spring.
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