We planned another Beach Day for last Sunday, and this time we had a small potluck with our friends, Gillian and Marshall. I thought a big, Greek pasta salad would really hit the spot, and it was easy to transport to the beach.
This recipe is extremely easy to make. If you can boil pasta and cut things, you can make this. I started by cooking an entire box of gemelli pasta (my new favorite shape). After it was done, I just added things to it, made a simple vinaigrette, and tossed everything together.
Since olives are one of the main, most flavorful ingredients, I decided to spring for the nice olive-bar olives. I think it was worth it.
Using an entire box of pasta meant that this recipe made a TON of pasta salad. We ate a fair amount of it at the beach, but John and I will probably be eating it for the rest of the week.
I used this recipe as a guide, and kind of did my own thing. The recipe called for cucumber, and I just used a small amount of our leftover, seedless cucumber. It was proportionally not enough to be a strong flavor over all, but I feel like it's one of those ingredients you can just add "to taste."
One reason I wanted to make this salad was that last week John and I finally bought the kilo of feta at Costco. We cut it into smaller chunks and froze some of it (he read about it on the internets first). We've been looking for stuff to do with it ever since.
My plan was to use red wine vinegar, but mine was pretty old, so I used balsamic like I normally do with regular salad. It darkened the color of the pasta a little bit, but it tasted pretty good.
Simple Greek Pasta Salad
1 lb small shape pasta, cooked
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 lb of mixed olives, pitted, and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of crumbled feta (or more...)*
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped (seedless works well)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste (for a whole lb. of pasta, I needed more salt and pepper than I expected).
Combine pasta and chopped/minced ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Stir together olive oil and vinegar in a separate bowl, whisk together until combined. Pour over the pasta mixture and toss to coat evenly. Add dried basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
*Or leave it out and this becomes a vegan recipe.