About a month ago I was out of town for work. It was late evening and I was wondering what to have for dinner. Sure I could have had Olive Garden, TGI Fridays or some other chain restaurant dinner, but instead I decided to explore The Fresh Market grocery store I noticed while driving around. The Fresh Market was new to me, we don't have one where I live, but WOW do I love that store! I roamed all around the isles admiring the beautiful bakery items, bulk snack mixes, bulk candies and fresh salads.
Since I was trying to be relatively healthy, I decided on a turkey sandwich made with a delicious whole grain bread, green bean chips, a small container of honey lemon pasta salad and a bran muffin for dessert. I took my bag of goodies back to my hotel, changed into my pj's and had a picnic in my room while I watched the Real Housewives of somewhere on television. The pasta salad was so light and fresh tasting, I knew I had to try to recreate it when I got home. I searched The Fresh Market website, but of course no recipe, but my version came out pretty darn close. Hope you like it too.
Honey Lemon Pasta Salad
2 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 T Honey
1 tsp. chopped thyme
1/ 2 C extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground salt and pepper
In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice with the lemon zest, honey and thyme.
Whisk in the olive oil and season with fresh ground salt and pepper.
Bowtie Pasta (I used 3/4 of a 1 lb. box)
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper
1 can mandarin orange sections - drained
diced red onion
toasted sunflower seeds
Cook bowtie pasta, drain and set aside.
Add diced green pepper, diced roasted red pepper, mandarin oranges and chopped red onion.
Toss with honey lemon dressing and sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds. Enjoy!