Do you ever stumble upon a very simple combination that yields magical results? This is definitely one of those cases. The combination of bright zippy lemon, sweet summer blueberries, and fragrant thyme is a little bit unexpected and entirely delightful.
This is a dish in which less is more. These flavors are just too good to mess with! It's a combination that screams summer and feels so perfect in a versatile, picnic-appropriate pasta salad. We've really been enjoying this salad all summer long, and it's a breeze to throw together. I hope you'll love it as much as we have!
This is really a pasta salad that can become anything you want it to be. It's great either warm or cold, so it can easily function as a fast weeknight dinner, a potluck dish, or a picnic dish. Thanks to the robust ingredients, this is a salad that will travel well, regardless of whether you're going on a hike or just over to a friend's house. Got leftovers? They'll make a great portable lunch.
You'll see in the ingredient list that I suggest using red lentil pasta. I'm absolutely thrilled with all the great bean-based pasta options available right now, and they've completely reincarnated my love of pasta. Thanks to all that protein, this pasta easily functions as a main course; just pair it with a side salad! That said, you could certainly make this recipe with a traditional pasta if you prefer.
Want to add some green? I've tossed arugula into this pasta with great success; it adds a nice peppery element, and makes it feel like a whole meal.
This pasta salad is entirely make-ahead friendly, which I love! You can prep the whole dish ahead of time, a day or even two days before. Just keep the blueberries and pistachios aside until you're ready to serve, since both will get soggy if they sit. When you're ready to eat, you can reheat the pasta if desired, or keep it cold if that's more your speed.
One important tip about this dish. The flavors here are really simple and there aren't many ingredients. Therefore, I highly suggest getting the absolute best ingredients you possibly can, since there isn't anywhere to hide in this minimalist, clean flavor combination. Make sure you get some really nice, fragrant lemons. Fresh thyme is a must! Use a robust, flavorful olive oil rather than a flavorless one meant for cooking. And definitely get some super-sweet summer blueberries (the ones shown here were grown by my parents!).
This is a good time to talk about salt. It's such an important ingredient! I absolutely love fleur de sel, which is a very flavorful, flaky sea salt used for finishing dishes. Please do yourself a big favor and get some, it adds such depth to any dish. The flaky texture makes it an ideal finishing salt. It's definitely not the same thing as the coarse-grained sea salt you buy in a big can, which is crunchy and harsh and not very appealing as a finishing element.
Having second thoughts about the health of olive oil and salt? They're actually both really important and good for the body, when used in moderation. You can read more about the health benefits of both here, in a collaborative recipe I worked on with a nutritionist.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
I was reluctant to share this recipe because I was afraid it was too simple. But sometimes simple is okay, right?? We love these streamlined, clean flavors so much and I hope you will too.
This pasta salad can be so many things. It can be hot or cold, a whole meal or a side dish, a picnic dish, a potluck contribution, or just lunch for the week. And thanks to those simple flavors, it can pair with pretty much anything summery and/or Mediterranean, which makes it such an easy option for fitting into a more complex meal. This is exactly why I find myself coming back to this dish again and again!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Disclosure: I received free product from Tolerant Foods. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.
Just a few very simple, summery flavors come together to make an unforgettable pasta salad. It's ready in a flash and you can serve it either warm or cold!