This is great all-in-one, well-balanced meal that preps well over the weekend and keeps all week in the fridge. I like it for lunches in the summer, when I want to stay out of the kitchen and eat something cool and refreshing but still satisfying. I usually make it a complete meal with a side of chicken, but you could easily keep it as a vegetarian entrée and toss in some canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or a side of grilled tofu. Like any salad, once you get the basics figured out, this is endlessly variable with what you have on hand and your personal preferences.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
one. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook 6 oz. dried pasta (I prefer rotini best, but any smaller pasta will do). Drain and set aside.
two. While the pasta is cooking, prepare and either toss together in a large bowl or divide between 6 smaller bowls with lids:
3 chopped bell peppers (I like a mix of colors)
1 cup small cherry or grape tomatoes (if you are storing this for lunches all week, I suggest you keep them whole to preserve their texture)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion or a few green onions
1 15oz can brined artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
three. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing:
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
A few good grinds of fresh black pepper
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
four. Toss the cooled pasta with the vegetables. If you are putting it into 6 bowls, it’s about 3/4 cup of pasta per bowl.
five. Give the dressing a good whisking again and then toss with the pasta mixture. If you’re dividing into bowls, it’s about 1 Tbs. dressing per bowl.
six. Serve chilled. Yields 6 servings as a main course, maybe twice that as a side dish.
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