Summer months are here again and there’s nothing more refreshing than crisp salads packed with fresh flavors at mealtime. Our bodies need to be cool and
hydrated in the heat and salads are a tasty way to do just that! So how about a classic Greek salad? This salad is perfect for summer picnics or barbecues because you can throw in almost any veggie you have on hand and it packs well too. It is inspired by the classic Greek salad and incorporates a variety of great textures and flavors. It also allows room for creativity and improvisation, so feel free to have as many add-ons to the original recipe as you like, or just go with the tried and tested – tastes great either ways! If you prefer to have this as a main dish, simply add some grilled/precooked chicken. You can either serve this cold or at room temperature. I have a few more pasta salad varieties coming up soon..hope you enjoy them!
Ingredients (Serves 3)
1. Pasta – 2 cups (I used multi grain rotini pasta)
2. Grape tomatoes – 15, halved ( or 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped)
Red onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Kalamata olives or black/green olives – 1/4 cup, sliced
Green bell pepper – 1/4 cup, chopped
Red bell pepper – 1/4 cup, chopped
Cucumber – 1/2 cup, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
Garbanzo beans/ white chick peas – 1/2 cup, cooked
Feta cheese, crumbled – 1/2 – 3/4 cup
For the dressing
3. Red wine vinegar – 1.5 tbsp
Extra-virgin olive oil – 3 – 4 tbsp
Garlic – 1 clove, minced
Lemon juice – 2 – 3 tsp
Dried oregano – 1/4 tsp or 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
Sugar – 1 pinch
Salt and pepper – to season
Whisk red wine vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Add the other ingredients for the dressing and mix well.
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions until tender. Drain well. Add 2 tsp olive oil and mix well. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. When the pasta is still warm, transfer it to a large bowl and add the ingredients numbered 2. Mix well and pour the dressing. Toss everything well. Taste-check for salt. Serve after 1 hour or cover and store in the fridge. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 – 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
You can also use artichoke hearts, chopped sun-dried tomatoes etc in this recipe.
This recipe was featured on Malayali Magazine’s may edition, 2015.