putting the pieces together. [lemon, asparagus & heirloom tomato pasta salad]

August 7th, 2012 by | comments

Last weekend and this week have been pretty busy, from helping my new roommate, Megan, move into my apartment to work piling up at the office. I did, however, find time on Sunday to make a quick trip to Trader Joe’s and to whip up this pasta salad. Since it continues to warm up here in LA, I figured this cold pasta would be perfect for lunch.

Megan and I are devoting the rest of the week to furnishing and decorating the apartment. Last night, we painted our table and chairs white, while sipping on wine and listening to the Hall & Oates Pandora station. It was pretty ideal. :)


1 tbsp. olive oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper

Zest of 1 lemon

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and steamed, then cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 box fusilli, cooked according to package instructions

1 container mini Heirloom tomatoes (Trader Joe’s)

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 tbsp. grated Pecorino and Romano Parmesan cheese blend (Trader Joe’s)

Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, place seasoned chicken breasts in pan. Add zest of 1/2 lemon to the side of the chicken facing up. After about 4 minutes, flip chicken and top other side with zest of remaining 1/2 lemon. Cook other side about 4 minutes as well, or until golden brown and done. Remove chicken, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

Fill a medium saucepan about half full with water, then bring to a boil. Add asparagus and reduce heat to low. Cook for two minutes, then remove and strain. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, add cooked fusilli, chicken and asparagus. Add heirloom tomatoes, then lemon juice, zest, olive oil and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for 2 hours, or overnight. Add more olive oil or lemon juice, as needed. Serve cold.

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