I love all Greek inspired food… especially this Greek Pasta Salad. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I think it has something to do with the black olives, feta cheese and the crisp vegetables that make it a winner. Maybe it’s just my obsession with feta cheese.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Greek inspired dinner at College Boreal prepared by one of their graduating students from the culinary program. O.M.G. Since my regular babysitter is currently laid up with a broken foot, I couldn’t have my husband join me for dinner. Instead I called on my good friend who’s always up for any adventure I throw at her. Lucky for me, she’s also adventurous when it comes to food. I think I may have had some of my most favorite meals with her.
Dinner started with a small appetizer of roasted beet and cucumber with a dill crème fresh. Then we moved on to a Greek salad with artichoke hearts and a creamy dressing. Delicious!
Next we were served a traditional spanakopita, which I feel the chef did an excellent job on. It was paired with a white wine from South Africa.
For the main course, they made a delightful chicken quarter with a tomato-olive compote and roasted vegetables.
The final dish was baklava with candied lemon, made from local honey. Let me tell you, it was OUTSTANDING! What a lovely flavor combination. And the local honey blew my mind. So much so, I had to go buy a jar of it the next day.
I was very impressed by the delicious meal. I’m sure the graduate will find success and create many delicious dishes. I hope to attend more events such as this. What a treat!!
I’ve always had a fondness for Greek inspired flavors and this dinner did not disappoint. A traditional Greek salad is one of my favorites when dining out or even to make at home. My husband prefers Caesar salad so we’re always flipping a coin to see which salad will be on the dinner table that night.
With the summer months drawing close, and more importantly BBQ season, I decided to create a Greek Pasta Salad. Not only will it be great for the warmer summer months but I’ll also use this recipe for meal planning lunches. The salad lasts for days so it was easy to pack up into individual serving sizes to put in lunches. I love making my life easier. A bottle of Greek dressing will also do in a pinch but I love the flavor of this homemade dressing which is a fraction of the cost.
If you haven’t heard about the Meal Planning Challenge taking place in April, make sure you click here to find out more information! We have a Meal Planning and Freezer Meal community growing on Facebook and I’m looking forward to sharing my ideas and learning what everyone else does.
Greek Pasta Salad
- 450 g pasta , like rigatoni
- 375 ml can black olives , sliced
- 2 cups tiny tomatoes , cut in half
- 1 cucumber , quartered and sliced
- 1 small red onion , diced
- 1 red pepper , diced
- 8 oz feta cheese , crumbled or diced small
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 shallot , minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard , preferable whole grain
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing together in a mason jar. Shake together well and set aside.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta to al dente as per the directions on the package. Drain the pasta well and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle about half of the dressing into the pasta while it’s still hot to prevent it from sticking. Stir well to coat. Set the pasta aside for about half an hour to cool before adding the rest of the ingredients.
The quantities of the remaining salad ingredients can be modified to your personal preference. The above measurements are the approximate quantity I use.
Drain the juice from the can of black olives. Pitied kalamata olives can also be used.
Cut the tiny tomatoes in half.
Quarter the cucumber then slice into bite sizes.
Dice the red onion; I prefer it be finely diced.
Dice the red pepper to your preferred size.
The feta cheese can either be diced or crumbled.
Add all the prepared ingredients into the bowl of pasta once it has cooled and add the remaining dressing. Toss gently to combine.
Cool completely before serving. Makes for great make ahead lunches.