It’s summertime and the glorious flavors of warm Mediterranean cuisine are calling your name. The crisp vegetables, the savory herbs, the colorful sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy feta all come together in this fresh salad to create a dish that is a perfect dish for a picnic or just snacking on your porch. This recipe is so delicious that you won’t want to stop at just one.
As anyone who has spent any time in Greece will know, Mediterranean cuisine is not as heavy and meat-oriented as other cuisines such as Italian. Pasta salads are a delicious way to enjoy the benefits of a more traditional Mediterranean diet without breaking your calorie budget for the day.
How To Make Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This dish is a tantalizing combination of fresh vegetables, cooked pasta, and flavorful dressing. It’s perfect for outdoor parties when summer starts to heat up and the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. When you’re ready to go beyond meatball subs and make a meal that will leave your guests asking for seconds – this recipe is perfect.
This recipe makes enough pasta salad for 4-6 people.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 16-oz box penne pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 12 large fresh basil leaves sliced
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives chopped
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
- 3 oz feta cheese chopped
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside. (Or prepare in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use).
- Add olive oil and garlic to a skillet set over medium heat. Sauté for approximately 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic develops some color.
- Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until the tomatoes are warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh arugula. Set aside.
- Ina large mixing bowl, combine the warm tomato and arugula mixture with the fresh basil and Kalamata olives. Add the warm cooked penne pasta and both types of cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- Transfer the pasta salad to a large serving bowl and garnish with some fresh arugula, sprigs of basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy!
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