Recipe: Greek Pasta Salad

 

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Ingredients
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    2-3 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped fine
    2 teaspoons fresh oregano
    3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    dash of maple syrup or honey
    2.5 cups cooked macaroni
    15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 cup sliced red bell peppers, lightly steamed
    8 ounces cooked and cooled spinach
    3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    1/2 cup chopped green onions
    4 ounces kalamata olives
    3/4 cup sliced pepperoni sausage, cut into strips (optional)

Preparation

1. Cook the pasta in salted water until just tender. Drain without rinsing and dump onto a large-lipped cookie sheet to cool and dry. The pasta may be somewhat sticky at this stage, but the dressing will break it up.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano,black pepper and (optional) maple syrup or honey.
3. Lightly steam spinach. Squeeze out excess moisture and set aside. Chop coarsely with a knife, or use a food processor to cut spinach into small pieces.
4. Lightly steam red peppers and set to cool.
5. Prep the cherry tomatoes, green onions, kalamata olives and feta cheese.
5. Slice (optional) pepperoni sausage into strips, and add to salad.

Combine all ingredients and toss with herbed dressing until evenly coated. Cover, and chill 2 hours or overnight.

Greek Pasta Salad is a great summer meal, ideal for picnics or get-togethers. During July you can use fresh local cherry tomatoes, basil, spinach, green onions, red peppers, and oregano. Organic Valley Feta Cheese is on sale all month at the co-op.

Use your favorite bite-sized pasta, such as farfalle (bow ties), fusilli (corkscrews), penne, ziti, rotelle (wagon wheels), macaroni or small shells, adjusting the cook time according to the size of the pasta. Gluten-free pasta is an delicious option for those who are sensitive to wheat. Call Amber Towne at the East store if you would like a gluten-free tour of Bloomingfoods: 812-336-5400.