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By Amie Valpone, Culinary Marketing Consultant & CEO of the gluten-free blog, The Healthy Apple.

Summer is truly the time to enjoy the outdoors and organize impromptu gatherings and salads make it easy to feed a hungry crowd. Here’s a refreshing gluten-free and vegetarian pasta salad for those summer BBQ or picnics that would satisfy anyone’s palate.

FRESH PARSLEY ASPARAGUS PENNE SALAD

Ingredients
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1 pound gluten-free penne pasta
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into thirds
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into pieces
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon zest
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast macadamia nuts, stirring often, until golden, approximately 3 minutes.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions, add asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return pasta and asparagus to pot. Toss with goat cheese, scallions, lemon zest, parsley, paprika, sea salt, pepper and toasted macadamia nuts.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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