Last week I must have been in a Mediterranean Mood.
I made Mediterranean Chicken Salad and this Mediterranean Pasta Salad. I was looking for a recipe that was easy and flavorful and after looking through quite a few sites I stopped at RecipeZaar. My biggest regret with this is that I forgot to buy fresh basil and parsley so I was stuck using dried. Don't get me wrong, this was absolutely fabulous and full of flavor, but I can just imagine what fresh herbs would have done.
Besides the flavor from the dressing, I loved the all the veggies and feta, it was just so good. (sadly I didn't get a good shot of the veggies. Believe me, it was very pretty!) Oh and the artichokes, I just love artichokes. The process of making this is easy but long, it's not something to just throw together after work and eat for dinner. That's kind of a pain but it really allowed the flavors to marry. We had this the first night on a Tuesday and it lasted the rest of the week for lunches and dinner. The next gathering we go to I will definitely bring this. I think it will be a big hit with a crowd! It would also be wonderful with some chicken or steak - something I will definitely add next time.
Easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad
1 lb shell pasta, cooked al dente, drained well, and tossed with 2 tbs olive oil (I used campanelli and didn't use 2tbsp olive oil, that just seemed ridiculous. I drizzled a tiny bit on the pasta and then tossed it)
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
Handufl of grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup pitted kalamata olive chopped (omitted, I don't like olives)
1 (4 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 (1 1/2 ounce) envelope tomato basil soup mix
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a large serving bowl, toss together the pasta, onion, cucumber, bell peppers, celery, olives, and artichoke hearts.
Refrigerate the salad up to 24 hours In a medium glass mixing bowl, whisk together the oils, vinegar, soup mix, black pepper, basil, parsley, and feta until well blended. (I only added 1/2 cup of the feta, I wanted some to crumble on top when I served the salad)
Pour 1 cup of the dressing over the salad and toss Refrigerate the salad for at least 6 hours.
When ready to serve, toss the salad with the remaining dressing.