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Spinach avocado pasta salad boasts minimal fuss, maximum flavor

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    Spinach and Avocado Penne Pasta Salad. This one is a good match for grilled meats, but made without creamy dressings or cheeses that can be a problem with outdoor dining.

Fourth of July celebrations mean outdoor gatherings with plenty of food and drink. After all, it’s the most popular time to grill, according to many barbecue and grilling surveys.

Brighten up the meal with a salad that’s a good match for grilled meats, but made without creamy dressings or cheeses that can be a problem with outdoor dining.

SPINACH AVOCADO PENNE PASTA SALAD

By Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press (adapted from Pintrest)

  • 1 pound box miniature penne pasta or other small pasta
  • 1 bunch cilantro, bottom stems removed
  • 1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled, pressed or very finely minced
  • 1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
  • 2 avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

>> Dressing:

  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions in well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.

In a food processor, place cilantro and spinach and process until chopped into tiny pieces. Place in medium bowl.

Stir in garlic, green onion, tomatoes, avocado and chickpeas.

Add cooked pasta and stir to combine.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all the dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour dressing over salad and stir gently until everything is well coated.

Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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