Monday, July 22, 2013

Greek Pasta Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Olives and Feta Cheese

Recipe from Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 6

When the tomatoes and cucumbers are at their peak, toss this quick-to-make salad together to serve on those hot summer days.  Omit the pasta if you don’t wish to heat up the stove.  This salad is quite forgiving and tastes great with or without the pasta.

½ pound cooked pasta, al dente (bow tie, fusilli, macaroni, orzo, etc…) 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ lb. fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ red onion, sliced thinly
¼ cup packed minced fresh parsley
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (goat cheese or blue cheese would be good too)
(Optional additions:  avocado, chickpeas (rinsed), artichoke hearts, baby greens, cooked chicken, shrimp or tuna)
Herb Dressing or Alice’s A+ Vinaigrette (Recipes follow)

When the pasta is done cooking, drain and then toss with the olive oil.  Add the remaining ingredients and then drizzle with a bit of the Herb Dressing or Alice’s A+ Vinaigrette

Herb Dressing
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup minced fresh basil, oregano and/or dill (or a few cubes of Dorot Frozen basil, thawed)
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.  Shake well until the ingredients are well blended. 

Alice’s A+ Vinaigrette:
1-2 fresh lemons
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a pint mason jar, squeeze the juice from 1-2 lemons (about 1/4 cup juice). Add the minced garlic, if using. Add about 3/4 cups extra virgin olive oil. Add salt & freshly ground pepper to taste. (I use a "healthy pinch" of both.) Screw on the lid. Shake the jar vigorously until all the ingredients are blended well. Drizzle just enough of the dressing over the salad to gently coat the leaves. This recipe usually makes enough for 3 large salads.)  Store the jar on the counter for up to two days.

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