Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Creamy Greek Pasta Salad

Summer is upon us which means lots of socializing and BBQs to attend.  What's easier to bring to a potluck BBQ than a pasta salad you can make ahead of time?  Plus it's great alongside chicken, pork, burgers, sausages ....  If it had a mom this salad will go well with it.

We are huge Greek salad fans here so a pasta salad featuring my fav (and very popular Greek Salad Dressing) was a no brainer for us.  Filled with crisp veggies, the tang of olives and marinated artichokes all wrapped up in a creamy Greek dressing?  Yup, this was a hit and also perfect for a quick lunch idea as I'm running out the door to work at the library.

You can add more veggies or omit the ones you're not fond of making this a very versatile dish.  You could also try making it with cheese filled tortellini (a fav of Brad's and mine). Bring on the patios, BBQ's, friends and family!!

What's your summer salad staple for potlucks?

1 1/4 cup dry fusilli pasta
1/3 English cucumber - sliced and quartered
1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved (optional)
1/3 yellow pepper - seeded and chopped
1/3 red pepper - seeded and chopped
1 cup red onion - chopped
1/2 cup sliced black or Kalamata olives
1/2 cup marinated artichokes - chopped

1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup mayonnaise (or a bit more depending on how saucy you want your salad)
to taste - salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil

1 cup feta cheese - crumbled or cubed

In a medium pot, cook pasta according to package instructions (preferably until al dente in texture). 

Meanwhile, place vegetables and olives into a large bowl.

Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well - I put them in my Ninja individual cup mixer to blend well.  

Drain pasta well.  Rinse with cool water.  Pour pasta into the bowl with the vegetables.  Pour salad dressing over and mix well.  Toss with feta cheese and store in fridge for at least 4 hours to allow for the flavours to blend.  Keep leftovers in the fridge.

Note: Sometimes pasta salads get dried out because the pasta sucks up the sauce.  I didn't find this to be the case though.  If this happens you can mix up a little bit more of the dressing and add it just before serving.

Source: The Baking Bookworm

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