Roasted Fennel and Artichoke Pasta Salad
Roasted Fennel and Artichoke Pasta Salad - Sweet roasted buttery fennels coated parmesan cheese, with meaty artichokes, and orecchiette pasta dressed in a lite and lemony thyme dressing! This festive salad is perfect side for a festive Holiday Family dinner Or a weekday dinner with some protein on the side.
Past few weeks, due to some of my blog downtime..... I missed a lot of my scheduled recipes. Even though running behind, I did not want to just pour-out all recipes at once at you! So, still recovering from backlog....
Above all, I really missed sharing my favorite salads..... I'm sure you were thinking too - What happened to this salad girl's salad recipes. :)
Well, I'm back with a delicious salad and will continue my commitment to make and share more!
O my salads, I missed you so much!
Today's pasta salad was first published in my cookbook - Everyday Salads Cookbook. I created this salad purely for my love of roasted fennel.
First time I roasted fennel at home.... just fell in love with the sweet liquorish aroma and that buttery texture! Specially in this recipe, when parmesan melts over hot roasted fennel.... mouths gets watering pretty quickly!!! Oh *major drool*!!
Partly because I'm savory-food-fan and partly because I literally grew up drinking Fennel Seeds Infused Chai Tea...... I found an instant connection with fresh roasted fennel. It's strange, fennel seeds are so widely grown in India and are often used in Indian cooking... but I never ate fresh fennel bulb and fronds until we moved to States. I have also seen fresh fennel with seeds growing in my backyard... had no clue it's leaves are edible too :) And now, I can never have enough of it!
These days, whenever I roast Fennel Chicken for Vishal..... The whole bowl full of fennel soaking roasting juices is for me to savor! ;)
Other than roasted fennel, the lite lemon and thyme dressing of this salad is also my favorite. Just a hint of chili flakes and tang of lemon with perfume of thyme..... balances the sweetness of roasted fennel very beautifully.
I also used a handful of dried blueberries to add some festive layer of sweetness to this salad. Dried cranberries, raisins, or even some fresh ripe cherries will be perfect too. Likewise, pasta can be orecchiette or any small shape you prefer.
Vegan? You can make this salad vegan. Just skip parmesan cheese.
Gluten Free? I have used wheat-based pasta, for gluten free salad, use a gluten-free pasta like rice or buckwheat pasta.
Low-Oil? For all my calorie-conscious friends, you can reduce the amount of oil in dressing for lighter version. Also pasta may not need all of the dressing. Mix a little in pasta bowl to add flavor, then serve rest on side to use as much as you want.
Friends, I'm sure you having a great weekend! Don't forget to bring some thyme, and roast some fennel to try this hearty, delicious Roasted Fennel Pasta salad.
Can't wait to hear you favorite Holiday Salads!? -Savita
Like Pasta Salads? How about these hearty Pasta Salads for your next holiday gathering?
Roasted Fennel and Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Roasted Fennel
- 2 Fennel Bulbs (bulbs sliced, core discarded and fronds reserved)
- Salt and Black Pepper (as per taste)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Lemon Herb Dressing
- 1/4 Cup Lemon (zest of 1 lemon and 1/4 cup juice)
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 Salt
- 1 tsp Thyme (fresh thyme leaves, about 3-4 sprigs)
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Capers
- Pasta Salad
- 1 Cup Artichokes (8oz can of quater artichoke hearts in water, drained)
- 1/2 lbs Pasta (8oz small shapes, such as Orecchiette)
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated or shredded)
- 2 tbsp Capers (drained)
- 1/2 lbs Cherry Tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
- 4 tbsp Pine Nuts
- 4 tbsp Cranberries (or dried blueberries)
- 1. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 2. Roast Fennel - Slice fennel bulbs into thin slices, discard the core and reserve the fronds. Place fennel slices on baking sheet, add olive oil, sprinkle with salt and fresh black pepper. Toss to combine.
- 3. Cook Pasta - While fennel is roasting, we will finish all pasta salad prep. First bring a pot of salted water to rolling boil, add pasta and cook per package directions until al-dante.
- 4. Roast fennel at 375 degrees F until fennel is fork tender, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle grated parmesan over roasted fennel and mix in. Set aside.
5. Lemon Herb Dressing - While pasta is cooking, in a food processor, add lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and thyme leaves. Now, with motor running, at slow speed, add olive oil in a slow stream to emulsify. Add red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.6. Assemble - Add roasted fennel, cherry tomato halves, pasta and artichoke quarters in salad bowl with dressing. Also add chopped fennel fronds. Toss well to combine all ingredients with dressing sitting at the bottom. Serve cold or at room temperature. Sprinkle pine nuts and dried blueberries/cranberries on top, plus some extra parmesan cheese (if prefer) just before serving.
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