Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

We often enjoy salads for dinner in the summer.  It can get pretty hot in Omaha and my husband isn't overly fond of a huge, hot meal in the summer.  It seems like we are all coming and going so if I have a good salad in the fridge... ready for whoever is passing through, everyone eats better!

I found this Mediterranean Pasta Salad over at A Family Feast.  I notice that today she has a Thai Corn Salad posted that I might have to try!

I thought this Mediterranean Pasta Salad was fabulous.  I loved the dressing - so light and refreshing. I used a 16 oz box of Ditalini pasta so you might choose to double the dressing if you use a 16 oz box of pasta.

I love olives - especially Kalamata olives.  My girls aren't so hip on olives.  So - I just put the olives in individual servings.  But if your family loves olives like I do, toss them in the salad!




Mediterranean Pasta Salad (adapted from A Family Feast)

Dressing:

1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped garlic (3-4 medium cloves)
2 Tbsp fresh oregano ( or half the amount if using dried)
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about one large lemon)

Salad:

12 oz Ditalini pasta (or other favorite pasta)
zest from one lemon
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped (I didn't use)
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced ( I did a variety)
8 oz crumbled feta cheese

In a medium saute pan,  heat the oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper over low-medium heat.  Cook slowly for about 8 minutes or until the garlic just begins to brown.  Removed from heat and add lemon juice.  Set this mixture aside.

Cook the pasta according to the box directions, al dente.  When the pasta is a little under done, removed to colander and drain but do not rinse.  Place drained hot pasta in a large bowl and add the flavored oil/lemon juice mixture.  Stir and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes.  Add all of the other prepared ingredients except feta, stir.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Stir in feta and serve.


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