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Recipe of the week: Chicken-Cashew Pasta Salad from Sisters on the Fly

Addie Broyles

Sisters Becky Clarke and Maurrie Sussman grew up doing all kinds of activities outdoors, and as they got older, they realized that not all women had the chance to learn how to ride a horse, cook over a campfire or go fly fishing or kayaking. In 1999, they started Sisters on the Fly (; the organization’s goal is “to bring women together to challenge themselves to be all they are capable of.” One of their members is Irene Rawlings, who helped them put together a cookbook that came out earlier this year called “Cast-Iron Cooking with Sisters on the Fly” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $19.99).

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., the trio will be talking about their many outdoor adventures, as well as giving tips about campfire cooking. This chicken-cashew pasta salad doesn’t require a cast iron Dutch oven, but it would be perfect for a potluck or family gathering.

Chicken-Cashew Pasta Salad

This delicious salad from Sister on the Fly member Anita Gunton feeds a crowd of hungry fisherwomen. Everything can be made ahead of time and assembled just before serving, and you could cut the recipe in half to feed a smaller crowd.

1 lb. dried rotini noodles

9 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup sliced green onions

1 tsp. salt

1 (16-oz.) package frozen sweet peas, thawed and drained

1 1/2 cups cashews

For buttermilk ranch dressing:

3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup Greek-style plain yogurt

1/2 cup buttermilk

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.

Rinse in cold water and drain again. Place in a large bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients, except the dressing and cashews, and toss gently. Refrigerate.

To make the dressing, place the green onions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for 15 to 20 seconds to make a smooth mixture. Add the mayonnaise, yogurt and buttermilk and blend until smooth.

Transfer the dressing to a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavors to develop.

Just before serving, add the dressing and cashews and toss gently. Serves 24.

— From “Cast-Iron Cooking with Sisters on the Fly” by Irene Rawlings (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $19.99)