Pasta and Cherry Salad with Mint Pesto and Roasted Almonds

Pasta and Cherry Salad with Mint Pesto and Roasted Almonds

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I love to experiment with fruit in pasta salads. I have found that pasta goes very well with many types of fruit and many types of sauces/dressings. Sometimes getting “lost” is the best way to find something new, even when it comes to recipes.


  • 8 ounces small shell pasta
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 2 cups firmly packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia or stevia powdered extract
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Prepare pasta as shown on package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander. Set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, roast almonds. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown, approx. 4 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Create pesto by combining mint and sugar substitute in a blender or food processor. Process until the mint is finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar and pepper. Process until well blended.
  5. Place pasta in large bowl and add celery and cherries. Toss together gently. Pour pesto over pasta mixture and toss again,gently but thoroughly. Serve immediately; sprinkle with roasted almonds over each bowl or plate. Pasta dish can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. (Note: The pasta will darken the longer it sits in the vinegar.)

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