Samphire and Zucchini Pasta Salad with Avocado and Feta
A few weeks back I introduced you all to Sea Asparagus, Salicornia or Samphire.
Remember that little twiggy thing that is not asparagus or sea weed? See my recipe for the Ramp and Sea Asparagus Frittata. I have fallen hard for this little gem of a veggie/succulent. The texture is crispy/tender; the flavour is briny in a good way, and the health benefits are out of this world. It’s higher in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc than celery, cucumber, kale or romaine (see Olakai Hawaii Sea Asparagus )
Seeing that is is jam-packed with goodness, I won’t go into all the technical reasons- that’s what the professional articles are for- but I’m kind of on a mission now to see how many recipes I can come up using this little bundle of goodness.
So this week I decided I would use it in a pasta salad. It’s warmer out now, so a fresh, light pasta salad seemed the way to go. But not an old fashioned creamy, mayo laden pasta salad. This one would be light with a red onion, lime and olive oil dressing.
I knew that it would be a meatless meal, so I wanted to make sure I got some protein in. Hello avocado. And some nuts, if so inclined. And if not, but protein is still desired, why not throw some chicken skewers on the grill, and you’ll have a complete meal fit for a healthy king or queen.
Jim loved it. Again, he is the ‘everyman’ to my crazy cooking concoctions. So if a recipe passes the ‘Jim’ test, then guaranteed most everyone else will enjoy this as much, if not more!! He likes to keep me in check, ensure that I’m not heading down some foodie rabbit hole from which there is no return. I’m happy for this, since most people want to enjoy a lovely meal, not get into some esoteric debate on the latest fad or obscure ingredient. He’s keeps me real. Thanks Jim.
So this is a light, easy salad to whip up, and has the taste of the beach included! Add some avocado and jalapeño pepper and it becomes a Mexican beach!
- 1 lb (454 g) dried penne or rigatoni pasta
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 limes, depending on their juiciness
- 2 cups of samphire or sea asparagus, soaked and rinsed for at least 10 minutes
- 1 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then into half moons
- 1/2-1 avocado (depending on size)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly (use as much as you want depending on how much heat you like)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- cracked pepper
- Place the onion in a small bowl and cover with the juice of 1-2 limes. If you find that you need more juice because the limes are just not releasing, go for it. Let this sit- it will soften the onion's texture and more importantly, it's bite.
- Cook pasta according to directions till al dente. Rinse, drizzle with a tbsp of olive oil and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl mix the samphire, the zucchini and the pasta.
- Add the EVOO to the onion and lime juice and mix to combine.
- Pour this over the pasta and veggies.
- Cube the avocado and add to the salad, making sure to coat each cube with the dressing (this will keep it from going brown)
- Add the jalapeño slices (as much as you feel best for your family) and crumbled feta.
- Add freshly cracked pepper to taste and toss.
- There is room for play here. Use cucumbers instead of zucchini if you'd like. Add chopped almonds for a protein crunch.