Greek Style Pasta Salad

It’s that time of year that is perfect for a picnic.  We have been having wonderful weather and pretty blue skies here in the low country of South Carolina.  One of my favorite dishes to pack for a picnic is pasta salad.

It is a side dish goes with everything from classic fried chicken to sandwiches, or could even be served solo.  It can be eaten either chilled or at room temperature, so it’s perfect for a picnic.  Pack the salad into small Chinese style take-out boxes for easy portioning or you could use pint sized wide- mouth mason jars.  Everyone gets his or her own jar or box!

 

Pasta salad is a creative canvas like pizza and omelets.  It is a great dish to use leftovers up or what ever you have on hand.  My love of pasta salad goes back to the boxed version in the 80’s.  As I recall the vegetables were freeze dried and mixed in with the pasta and dressing – probably loaded with sugar or HFC — and it had very few vegetables actually in it.   I loved it as a child, but I created this version that actually tastes 10 times better and is much healthier too.  Tomatoes have lycopene an antixidant that fights free radicals and cancer.  Olives and olive oil also contain polyphenols that prevent breast cancer.

 

Greek Style Pasta Salad

Serves 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients

  • ½ box tri-colored wheat pasta, 8 ounces, cooked according to package instructions.
  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans, either low-sodium or rinsed in a colander
  • ¾ cup of tomatoes, quartered (I used 5 Campari tomatoes)
  • ½ cup black or kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup slice deli-style mild pepper rings
  • 3 ounces, ½ block, reduced fat feta cheese
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 T Italian dressing of your choice or homemade

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, olives, pepper rings, and feta.  Note:  I mixed all the ingredients in the pot that I cooked the pasta in.  I figured it was one less bowl to wash :-) .
  3. Add the juice of ½ lemon, rosemary, oregano, and dressing.
  4. Toss to combine.
  5. Chill for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge to allow the flavors to develop.

This post was shared on Simple Lives Thursday.

12. April 2012 by admin
Categories: Main Dishes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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