Monday, March 31, 2014

Mediterranean Veggie Pasta Salad

Is this recipe actually Mediterranean? I’m not really sure, but that’s the name I came up with. The ingredients seem Mediterranean.  

Mediterranean or not, this was a tasty and easy pasta salad that made an excellent lunch.

I like my vinaigrettes with a strong vinegar kick. I think vinaigrettes are supposed to have 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, but I prefer an equal 50/50 division.

The ingredients are 3 ounces sun dried tomatoes, 3.8-ounce can sliced olives, 1 ½ cup peas, 8.5 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts in water, 8 ounces pasta, 4 ounces feta cheese. The ingredients for the balsamic vinaigrette are 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustered, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar.

I boiled water and cooked the pasta until it was cooked. I used a whole-wheat penne, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t think noodles would be ideal.

I added the sun dried tomatoes, drained olives, drained artichoke hearts, peas, and crumbled feta to a bowl.

Feta is Greek and is made from sheep or sheep and goat milk. It has a white- brined curd. That means it was cured in a brine. The first recorded Greek cheese is from the eight century BC. They have been doing cheese for a long time.  

When the pasta was cooked, I drained it and added it to the other salad ingredients.

I then prepared the balsamic vinaigrette. I like to make vinaigrettes in a jar with a tight seal. That way I can shake it enthusiastically without any leaking.

I added the salt, basil, oregano, mustered, extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar into a jar.

Balsamic vinegar is Italian. It has been manufactured in Italy since the Middle Ages. It was originally made from reduced white Trebbiano grape juice. Trebbiano grapes are also used to make Cognac. After the juice is reduced by 30%, the concentrated juice is aged.

I shacked all the dressing ingredients vigorously.

Then I poured the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and stirred.

This was delicious! I like these vegetables, and the strong vinaigrette is right up my alley.

Outside of the dressing, the chewy and slightly sweet dried tomatoes and salty feta were my two favorite components of this dish.

The flavors meld well together. It made a toothsome and delightful lunch.


Unknown said...

Yum, Mediterranean flavors are my favorite!

laura said...

Thanks Amanda!