A delightfully flavored and textured pasta salad. The color alone will make sure nobody forgets it!

Makes 7 cups


8 oz. dried pasta – shells or other small pasta – boiled in sufficiently salted water till tender, drained and rinsed till cold and set aside

1-1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus spears – wash, break off bottom 3rd of stalks and discard or save for broth; steam till tender, cut into 1 inch lengths and set aside

14 oz. can whole beets, drained, reserving 1/4 c. liquid for dressing, then cut beets into bite size pieces

1 lg. carrot – cut off ends, peel, then continue peeling in 1-1/2 inch length carrot ribbons about 1/4 inch wide and set aside

7-10 sm. pitted Kalamata olives, chopped – reserve 1/4 c. of brine for dressing

1 loose handful of sliced mild pickled banana peppers, cut into smaller pieces

1 sm. green pepper, cored and diced into 1/4 inch squares

1/2 c. 1/4 inch dice sweet onion

1/2 c. coarsely cut fresh cilantro


1/2 c. veg mayonnaise

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1/4 c. brine from Kalamata olives

1/4 c. beet liquid from can

1/4 c. Italian red wine vinegar (not Balsamic)

1 t. garlic powder

1 T. ground coriander

1/2 t. smoked paprika

1/2 t. celery seed

1/4 t. ground allspice

1 t. sea salt plus to taste

lots of freshly ground black pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients in bowl and whisk till smooth.

In large bowl combine all prep ingredients. Toss to distribute.

Pour dressing over all. Toss to coat. Salt to taste.

Either serve immediately or soon, or refrigerate for service later.

Notes: I like to drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over each serving followed by a little freshly ground black pepper. If desired garnish with a little more cilantro.


© 2017 by Chef Sharon Davies-Tight, artist, author, animal-free chef, activist. IT'S free to read, and share with proper credit, not to own or share as your own. CHANGING a few words doesn’t alter the DNA of the work. LIKE a mother knows her children no matter the alterations in appearance, I know my gift when I see it on someone else, even when portions are replaced with a poacher’s words. IF you receive the goods, you are as much a poacher of talent, words and images as the poacher who stole them – no matter the purpose. I am not free and you are making me less free by stealing my intellectual material and putting other peoples names to it. CHANGING A FEW WORDS PROVES YOU KNOW YOU'RE LIABLE. STEALING another person's intellectual material isn't flattery; it's stealing. ~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight


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