CSA Week 1 - Strawberry, Asparagus, and Spinach Pasta Salad

Welcome to a new series here at Swim, Eat, Repeat!  I've wanted to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for a while now.  The thought of all that produce and supporting local farmers was pretty compelling.  I finally pulled the trigger this year when a few coworkers signed up for the same one.
I signed up for a half-share through Orchard Country Produce.  There is a pick-up location really close to my work, and I'd been looking forward to the first week of produce for awhile!  A huge benefit of this CSA is also the emails we get on Monday, letting us know what to expect in our share later in the week, and it helps me plan what to buy to accompany the fresh produce ahead of time.  My grocery list for the week has gotten really short, which is pretty cool :-)
But this is a lot for just one person to consume, so I am looking forward to the challenge of using as many of the veggies in each meal as possible.  I think the hardest part of this is that I don't really like salad (there I said it, I feel better confessing that to you guys), so lettuce is going to have to get creative.  Also, I'm trying not to just puree everything and call it a soup or a smoothie.  Though we'll see if it needs to come to that.
So on that note, here is a recipe that uses strawberries, asparagus, and spinach all in one!  We only need a few more ingredients to round this out- pasta, cheese, and some seasonings, but pine nuts would be awesome too, so let's throw those in there.
It starts out like your usual pasta salad- boil, drain, and rinse some pasta, saute some greens, add it all together with oil and herbs.  The magic here is the sweet strawberries.  Sliced up and mixed in, this pasta salad goes from pretty typical to awesomely delicious.
This recipe makes a ton, and it's a welcome addition to any picnic, barbeque, summer get-together, or weeknight meal.  I think you should make this pasta salad asap.  And ps- sorry this is a little late in getting to you guys, like I said, it's been a little busy around here :-)
Strawberry, Asparagus, and Spinach Pasta Salad
serves 6-10

1 lb box of orzo pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-inch segments
1 bunch or bag of spinach
1 pint of strawberries, sliced
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil (a handful of fresh would be amazing mixed in though!)
1 teaspoon dried parsley (fresh would also totally work!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot of water to a boil, adding salt to the water.  Cook the orzo according to the package to al dente, drain, and return back to the large pot. 

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, add the olive oil and heat to medium/medium-high.  Saute the asparagus for 3-4 minutes until turning bright green and still crisp but not raw, keeping the asparagus moving so it doesn't burn.  Add the spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted, another 1-2 minutes, continue to stir so the veggies don't get too brown.  Remove from the heat and add to the pot with the cooked pasta.

In a small pan over medium-low heat, add the pine nuts (no need for added oil) and continuously stir so that they don't burn (nuts have high oil content and can go from raw to burned way too quickly, keep an eye on these guys!).  When most of the nuts are turning a light brown color, remove from the heat and dump into the pasta!  Add the crumbled feta and mix everything. 

In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together, and add to the large bowl of pasta, stirring everything up.  Lastly, add the strawberries and carefully mix everything together.  Serve warm/ room temperature, or cold.
Enjoy!

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