Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pasta Salad

I made a big salad for a church fundraiser, and it vanished quickly. This would also be good for a picnic. It's easily doubled or halved.

Cook 2 pounds pasta just al dente, about 8-9 minutes. (I used bowtie pasta, but rotini, small shells, or small tube shapes would work well too.) Drain in a colander while running cold water over the pasta. Return to the pot or a large bowl, and drizzle on 2/3 cup Extra Virgin olive oil. Toss well and set aside.

When the pasta has cooled, add
  • a handful of fresh chives, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced (see note)
  • 1 cup peas (I used baby frozen peas, and set aside until defrosted, without cooking them)
  • 1 cup calamata olives, chopped
  • 3-4 marinated red peppers, diced
  • ½ cup feta cheese, cut in small cubes
  • ½ cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped in half
  • 1 teaspoon salt, fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • 2/3 cup vinegar (I used a mix of red wine, balsamic, and cider vinegars)
Not all these ingredients are necessary, and others (e.g. sun-dried tomatoes, capers) would work well too.

Toss well and serve chilled or at room temperature.

If you have any garden space, or even a clay pot, you can plant the white root end of scallion (about a ½ inch piece) and they will grow back indefinitely. For this recipe, I picked the chives, parsley and scallions from our little garden. If you're serving this to a large group, it would be a friendly thing to note that it contains almonds, in case of any nut allergies.

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