Monday, 18 July 2011

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

A couple of weeks ago Brad and I took the kids to the beach for some sun and surf (can the shores of Lake Erie be considered 'surf'??). On our treks to the beach we always bring lots of sand toys, floaty things for the water and a cooler filled with food for a crowd.

There's a little tidbit of info about me that you should know. I inherited the "make waaay too much food for family occasions" gene from my dear Mom which means that we always have more than enough food for us, neighbours and strangers on the street. For our beach trip we packed wraps, loads of watermelon, grapes, strawberries and veggies, cheese strings and a bag of chips (to balance all the nutritious foods). A happy Bookworm clan is a well fed Bookworm clan whose blood sugar levels stay nice and high! You don't want to hang with us if our blood sugar levels drop. It's not pretty.

I had also made several hard boiled eggs but forgot them at home {Side note: I also inherited the "prepare at least one dish then forget to serve it" gene from my Mom. Love you Mom!!}. There we were on the beach {my lily white skin like a friendly beacon to our American neighbours to the south} when we had a hankering for some eggs. Brad hunted in the cooler for said eggs only for me to go 'Ohhh, ya. I think I forgot them in the fridge at home.' Ya think?!? My ability to state the obvious as well as my keen sense of perception are truly astonishing! Needless to say we enjoyed the hard boiled eggs when we got home from the beach.

Part of our feast on the beach included this pasta salad. Nothin' says summer like a cool and tasty pasta salad!! The kids chose not to partake of this dish (more for B and I) which is too bad because it was delicious! The cheese tortellini in this dish gave it that extra added oomph which we loved and I plan to add them to more pasta salads in the future.

The Greek Salad Dressing that I used is from my mom's recipe trove. This is one of her highly used and highly acclaimed recipes that we use for everything from salads, to marinating meats. It's really, really good and she gets compliments on it all the time.

As you can see in the picture my salami is sliced. I chose the easier route and bought a package of salami instead of going to another food store for their deli counter. In hindsight, I would have preferred having small cubes of salami instead of the slices which just stuck to each other.

Overall, this is a tasty and easy lunch idea or side dish for some grilled meat and can be tweaked according to your own personal tastes. Enjoy!!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
From: The Baking Bookworm
Yield: 6 servings

Greek Salad Dressing
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive or grapeseed oil

1/2 pkg (350g) cheese tortellini
2 cups farfalle pasta
1/2 cup orange pepper, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced
15 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 (6oz) jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup Genoa salami (regular or spicy) or pepperoni, cubed
1/2 cup Kalamata olives or black olive slices (optional)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, cubed
garnish - parsley

Combine salad dressing ingredients and shake well. Allow dressing to sit for 1 hour on the counter. Refrigerate remaining dressing if you won't be using it all for this dish.

Cook cheese tortellini and farfalle pasta according to package instructions.

In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients, except Mozzarella cheese cubes, and mix well. Pour dressing (I used about 3/4 cup but think it could have used more) over salad ingredients. Let salad sit in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving so the flavours can blend.

Just before serving, mix salad well and add Mozzarella cheese cubes and parsley, if desired. Keep leftovers in the fridge.

Note: Don't add the Mozzarella cheese until just before serving because the liquid from the dressing will make the cheese sweaty and kinda gross.

Linked to: Cast Party Wednesday and Somewhat Simple

1 comment:

sheryl said...

Thank you so much for stopping by Cast Party Wednesday last week. I really appreciate you sharing your recipe with us. I hope you will join us again for another awesome party filled with yummy recipes.
Thanks Again!

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