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May 30, 2011: Greek Pasta Salad

May 30, 2011

This weekend, we had a “bring a dish” at Teja’s and Barb’s to celebrate Ellen’s birthday and the release of Teja’s new IPhone app. for RaceOff (http://www.entertainingdiversity.com/gamesapps.html) A very fine day playing “Candyland” and “Dogopoly” with little Katie, chatting, watching Pam surfing in her element, and eating great food: Caroyln made a delicious cornbread that went very well with Pam’s wonderful veggie chili. Ellen brought her own cake (hey! isn’t here a rule against that?!!!) a very subtle and perfect chocolate cake somewhere between a brownie and a cake. I brought a Greek Pasta Salad, a very good, cold dish for the upcoming summer months. This is one of those recipes, I created in one of those cooking fugue states, where things “just seemed right” so, as I really enjoyed it, I want to write it down before it totally escapes my memory.

Greek Pasta Salad:

  • 1 Box (16oz.) Penne Pasta
  • 1 Bunch Spring Onions (washed, green parts removed, sliced thin 1/4″)
  • About 2 C. Grape Tomatoes (washed, sliced in half)
  • 3 Stalks Celery (washed, sliced thin 1/4″; you could sub green peppers)
  • 1 Cucumber (washed, skinned, deseeded, sliced thin 1/4″)
  • About 1/2C. Dried Sun-dried Tomatoes (sliced thin)
  • I Can Black Medium Olives (drained)
  • 3 Raw Carrots (washed, skinned, matchsticked)
  • 1/2 C. Craisins
  • 1 Block Feta Cheese (sliced into little cubes)
  • 1/2 Bunch Fresh Dill (washed, dried, chopped)
  • Equal Amount of Olive Oil+Lemon Juice (to taste)
  • 1/2Tsp. Each: ground Pepper; ground Sal de Mer; Fresh Dill, Basil, Oregano

This is  cold dish, so you want to make it ahead of time to give it plenty of time to cool and let the flavors combine. Cook the pasta basically according to the directions, but shave two minutes off the total time;  immerse in cold water; and drain. When pasta is cool, add veggies, feta, spices, oil and lemon juice. Cool. This dish is good as leftovers. The only thing I would add is a toasted nut: slivered almond, walnuts, or pine nuts (very appropriate for a Greek dish) but I would add them just before serving, as they could get soft, left in the oil.

Delicious with a Demestica or Retsina wine. Perfect for a picnic or that summer dish at the beach. Fresh. Simple. Light. Tasty.

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