Thursday, March 31, 2016

Greek Pasta Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing

This is the pasta salad I made to add to the comfort meal for Mr. Helen after his awful pre-Easter workday. I modified the dressing from another salad recipe I've had for years and I think it made this salad!

Greek Pasta Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing

Make the dressing:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried oregano or 2 T fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice (if you squeeze fresh lemons it will be 1 1/2 to 2 lemons)

In a small sauce pan, over medium-low heat combine the oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Let the dressing simmer for about 5 minutes until the garlic just starts to turn golden - watch and don't overcook!  Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, set aside.

Make the salad:

12 oz. tricolor rotini pasta (or any shape you like)
1 cup chopped cucumber (I used English cucumber)
1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup sliced black olives (regular, kalamata, whatever you like)
6 oz. good quality feta cheese (get the kind packed in brine), crumbled
1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain but do not rinse and put in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over and stir well.  Add cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta, and sprinkle with the Greek seasoning.  Stir well to combine. Let chill so flavors will meld.

I am thinking next time I might even add some slightly steamed broccoli to this salad - or green/red peppers would also be good. This would also be a great salad to take to a picnic due to it's dressing ingredients that won't spoil easily.  I have a feeling this will be a regular item for us this summer.

I also took this salad, put it over greens and added 3 oz. of chopped chicken breast - making for a delicious lunch.

So many possibilities - just the sort of flexible recipe we love!


  1. Interesting that you heat up the dressing! Sounds delicious, and yes, add the broccoli - I used to do that when I made pasta salad. Ima going to make your version soon. :)

    1. The dressing is heated so the garlic won't be as sharp. It gets a sweetness to it. It also toasts the oregano a bit and really makes the flavor quite lovely.

  2. This looks yummy. I like that there is no mayo. I would leave out the onions and olives, but that's me LOL!