12 August 2013

I know that kids all over the country are going back to school right about now, but mine don't go back until after Labor Day, so I'm still fully in summertime mode. Not even ready to think about school yet.  So I've got another couple of weeks' worth of fun summertime recipes to share with you before I launch into fall foods.

This is a pasta salad I made a couple of weeks ago when I had a bunch of family in town.  I didn't use a recipe; I saw a picture of a Greek pasta salad on Pinterest and decided to create my own.  It's really simple to make: just toss together cooked pasta, a variety of veggies and feta cheese, and dress with a bottled salad dressing.

Greek Pasta Salad

1 lb. radiatore pasta
1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
¼ - ½ cup Greek salad dressing
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Greek seasoning, optional
Fresh oregano, chopped, for garnish

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large bowl.  Add artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and olives.  Toss to combine.  Stir in ¼ cup of the Greek dressing and toss.  If it seems dry, add a little more dressing until it’s as saucy as you like it.  Add feta cheese.  Taste for seasoning, adding additional Greek seasoning if desired.  Garnish with fresh oregano.

Makes 16 servings as a side.

Warning: this recipe makes a lot of pasta salad!  The bowl in the picture is huge, and I actually couldn't fit all of the pasta salad in it.  I fed a total of 11 people that day, but four of them were kids (my five-year-old ate it, but my three-year-old couldn't because of the cheese. Bad mommy forgot to set aside some pasta and veggies before adding the dressing and feta.) and two of the adults didn't eat it.  So I had lots leftover.  Sixteen servings is just a guess; it very well could serve more than that.

I couldn't find the brand of Greek dressing I usually buy, and the one I ended up with was a little on the bland side, I thought.  That's why I added the Greek seasoning to it.  It gave the salad that extra punch of flavor I was looking for.

Pasta salads are such great sides for summertime and this is a fun twist on the usual kind.  

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