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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Photo Mar 09, 7 43 07 PM

Photo Mar 09, 7 43 11 PM

Ina Garten was my inspiration for this salad. She did an episode on making pasta three different ways. This Greek pasta salad caught my eye. I wanted to make it with a couple of changes. What’s really cool about this recipe is, in the time it takes to get the water for the pasta to boil and the pasta to cook, you can have all the veggies chopped and the dressing made for the salad.

Greek Pasta Salad With A Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment:

Ingredients:
2 hothouse or English cucumbers diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 a red onion sliced very thin then cut in half
2 pints of grape tomatoes halved
10 ounces of 1 inch cubed Greek Feta
1 package of cooked Fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons of finely chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients For Sun-dried Tomato Dressing:
2 tablespoon of drained capers
2 garlic cloves
8 drained sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
a fresh sprig of mint for garnish

Directions For Dressing:
Add the sun drained sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until they are finely minced. Next, add in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Kosher salt, black pepper, and Agave nectar. Pulse the ingredients to combine. Through the feed tube of the food processor, while it’s turned on, drizzle in the *E.V.O.O until the dressing comes together.

Directions:
In a large bowl, place all the diced vegetables. To the vegetables, add in the well-drained, cooked pasta. Pour in the half of sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and stir through. This gives the hot pasta a chance to absorb those flavors. Finely, add in the cubed Feta, freshly chopped herbs, and remaining dressing. Gently toss the diced Feta (so to keeps its integrity) and herbs through until all the ingredients are well combined.

Serve the salad at room temperature or chill in the frig and serve cold. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

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Panzanella Salad With A Twist

2014-10-26 17.58.40

Having my daughter visit recently, I needed to make a “meat free” meal for her. Now, in our house, Steve loves “meat free” meals once and a while, however; for the main course, he prefers to have some type of protein. I’m thinking what better way to do this than with a Panzanella Salad that makes everyone happy. This traditional Italian salad is basically a tomato and bread salad. Today I’m going to put a spin on tradition.

Ingredients:

Directions:
In a large bowl,  take one English, seedless cucumber, seeded with a spoon, and cut into half moons. Take the half moons and cut them in half. Slice 1/2 a red onion into thinly sliced half moons. Next, dice up 1 yellow bell pepper into large dice. A pint each of the yellow and red grape tomatoes halved, and toss them into the bowl as well. Add all these ingredients to the bowl. Take a quarter cup of pitted Kalamata olives and chop them up and add them in with the other ingredients.

In a separate bowl, I diced up 3/4 of a pound of Genoa salami that I bought from the deli. I had them slice it in one large piece, making it easier to dice.  Steve has the option then to add this right to his salad and not interfering with the integrity of the traditional Panzanella salad.

Next, is the dressing, and the bread that makes this salad so wonderful. I cubed up a loaf of Ciabatta bread crusts and all, and spread the cubes over two baking sheets. Drizzled them with olive oil, and a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. In a preheated 400 degree oven bake for 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. I like to shake the pans half way through the baking process, so that the bread gets tossed around a bit, and I can get a better feel for when the bread’s texture is just right.

Note: This recipe works even better if you have a loaf of day old bread. This will allow the bread to absorb the dressing much better.

Once the croutons are done, immediately place them into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. The hot croutons will absorb the dressing much better.

This vinaigrette can be made while the croutons are in the oven.  In another bowl add 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 clove of grated garlic, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of Agave nectar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper.  Slowly drizzle in 1/2 a cup of E.V.O.O. Whisk this all together and just pour the dressing over the salad.

Toss all the ingredients together so the bread cubes gets coated in that delicious dressing. Finally, dice up 6 ounces of good Feta cheese. The reason I add this in last is so the cheese will keep its integrity.  Finish by adding in 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil leaves. You can toss in some of that delicious Genoa salami to your salad for that little something extra.

 

2014-10-26 17.58.40Prep Time:: 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Equipment: 2 baking sheets

Ingredients:
1 English cucumber, cut into half moons then cut half moon in half
1/2 red onion sliced into thinly sliced half moons
1 large diced yellow bell pepper
1 pint each of red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 pound of diced Genoa salami (optional)
6 ounces of diced Feta cheese
1 loaf of cubed Ciabatta bread baked off into croutons
1/4 cup of olive oil (for croutons)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt (for croutons)
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper ( for croutons)
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil leaves

Dressing:
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 clove of freshly grated garlic
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Agave nectar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup of E.V.O.O

 

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