Packed with vitamins, fibre and minerals, the green pea fusilli in this dish will also give you good quality plant protein. Made with 100% green peas ground into flour, the fusilli is an alternative to traditional pasta and great way to get your plant protein without lentils or tofu.
Gluten free, nutritious and light, a salad like this one is particularly nice to have when the weather is warm. This weekend, we enjoyed it with brown Basmati rice, a cheese platter, Greek olives and crusty bread on the side. My husband John likes it with some crumbled Feta cheese sprinkled on top.
Should you want to make a salad with green pea fusilli, I recommend adding a generous bunch of fresh chopped mint leaves. Mint leaves and green peas simply go well together. I also added spinach, rucola, celery, green onions, cucumber, parsley and one of my favourite condiments: artichokes.
However, go ahead and add the lettuce or vegetables that you prefer. For example, yellow bell peppers and zucchini also pair well with green pea fusilli. But what makes this salad special is the vinaigrette. My homemade orange citrus vinaigrette blends in perfectly with this salad. It’s sweet and savoury with citrus overtones and it awakens all those earthy flavours in the salad.
The recipes for both salad and vinaigrette are below.
Green pea fusilli salad with orange citrus vinaigrette
- Green pea fusilli, about 3 cups (250 gr.) of dried fusilli, cooked according to package
- Spinach leaves, about 2 cups tightly packed
- Rucola leaves, one generous handful
- 1 large English cucumber, chopped
- 1½ cups jarred marinated artichokes, drained, rinsed well and sliced
- 2-3 green onions, chopped small
- 3-4 celery ribs, chopped small
- A generous handful of each: fresh mint and parsley leaves, chopped fine
- A pinch or two of salt, pepper & red pepper flakes
Cook the fusilli pasta until tender but not too soft. If the package says to cook it for 6 to 8 minutes, then cook it for 6.
Strain, drain and rinse pasta under cold running tap water. Set pasta aside in the strainer to cool.
Chop and prepare the spinach leaves and vegetables for your salad and toss together in a big salad bowl.
Add the cooled fusilli and toss. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss again.
Drizzle very little or a few tablespoons of vinaigrette (see recipe below) and toss so that everything is lightly but evenly coated. (Do not add too much vinaigrette at this stage because you simply want the ingredients to lightly marinate in the vinaigrette without being weighed down by it).
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Give the salad a final toss. Serve it with the vinaigrette on the side, which will be added to individual portions and according to taste.
B. Orange citrus vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup
- ¼ cup 100% pure orange juice or freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp (teaspoon) orange zest *
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used a smooth kind)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely grated
- 1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
- A pinch of salt, pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil *
* Tips: The zest is the orange outer layer of the peel that is finely grated; not the white underlying part of the peel. Use a good quality olive oil that is “Extra virgin” otherwise, you end up with an olive oil that can taste stale or unpleasant.
In a small bowl, add everything except the olive oil. Whisk until smooth. Add by pouring in a stream the olive oil whilst whisking. Whisk until blended and smooth. Pour into a glass jar, cover and store in fridge. Always give the jar a good shake or stir with a spoon before adding to the salad.