This asparagus tahini caesar pasta salad combines roasted asparagus and bell peppers with pasta, cucumber, celery, almonds, and a deliciously tangy and garlicky tahini caesar dressing.
Roasted Peppers and Asparagus
- 2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 pound asparagus, tough ends broken off
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tahini Caesar Dressing (Makes Extra)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup tahini
- Zest of 1 organic lemon
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 large lemons- see note)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2–3 large garlic cloves (depending on how much you love garlic)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (ensure it is vegan if that is important to you)
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound spelt rotini or fusilli
- 1/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1/2 of an English cucumber, diced
- 1 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Cashew Hemp Parmesan or grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
- Roast the asparagus and peppers: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the chopped peppers on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3/4 tablespoon of olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat and roast for 18 minutes. Place the asparagus on a second large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining 3/4 tablespoon of olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Rub the oil into the asparagus spears so that each one is evenly coated with oil. Roast for just 8-10 minutes, until bright green but not soggy. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the tahini caesar dressing: In an upright blender, combine the water, tahini, lemon juice and zest, oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, capers, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, sea salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and pour into an airtight jar. Note: This makes 16 oz of dressing. You probably won’t need all of the dressing initially, but it’s nice to have extra on hand to enjoy with leftover pasta salad or on other salads throughout the week.
- Prepare everything else: Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and place in a large salad bowl. Add the roasted peppers, cucumber, celery, green onion, toasted almonds, parsley, and basil. Gently toss. Top with the asparagus, leaving it off to one side of the bowl (see photos for reference) for pretty presentation. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over top, or serve up individual portions and then drizzle with each one with the dressing. Garnish with the parmesan, if desired.
You probably know by now that I love an acidic bite to my dressings and sauces. If you are not a huge lemon fan, start with less (say 1/4 cup), and add more to taste.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Category: Main Course, Side Dish
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: tahini caesar pasta salad with asparagus