Mediterranean pasta salad


I have been making this pasta salad for years and I can't quite believe it has taken me this long to get it up on the blog. This salad combines some of my favourite Mediterranean flavours - cool chunks of fresh cucumber and tomato, salty feta and green olives, all tossed with tender pasta and an oregano balsamic vinaigrette. This salad has appeared at many family barbecues and potluck gatherings over the years, and it's always a hit.

No need to allow for chilling time with this salad. After cooking, the pasta is immediately rinsed under cold water and tossed with the other ingredients. Quick and easy!


Here's how I make it:
makes 4-6 meal size portions or 8-10 potluck portions

4 cups dry pasta
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups fresh cucumber, cut into chunks
1 cup green olives, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar

I start by cooking the pasta for 10 minutes in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Meanwhile, the tomatoes, cucumber, olives and feta are combined in a large mixing bowl. Using a jar, I shake together the balsamic, olive oil, garlic, oregano and sugar to make the vinaigrette. The cooked pasta is rinsed under cold water then drained well and added to the large mixing bowl. The vinaigrette is poured over top and the whole salad is tossed to coat.


I adore green olives, but black olives would work just as nicely in this salad. I've also used many different pasta shapes - fusilli (shown here), penne, farfalle, conchiglie, or even macaroni

Mmm, tastes like summer is almost officially here!

What's your go-to salad for barbecues and potlucks?

5 comments:

  1. Yummy, very Greek, no? I don't fancy olives but love olive oil, so I guess I'll skip the olive and be generous with olive oil.

    Are you up for Asian cuisine? Try my resipe:
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.com/2012/06/chicken-in-tomato-and-chili-sauce.html

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  2. yumm that looks very delish! xo

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  3. Hi..I just made this, but my dressing was very dark due to the balsamic vinegar and my pasta salad, although is tasty, looks NOTHING like yours! :( Are there different balsamic vinegars that are lighter in color?

    Thanks!
    Diane~

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    1. Hi Diane - Although white balsamic vinegar is available it can be hard to find. Most balsamic vinegars are dark in colour, but in this recipe it's only a quarter cup tossed through a very large salad, so it doesn't really change the colour of the pasta. Is it possible you used aged balsamic vinegar? Aged balsamic (so lovely) is quite a bit darker and thicker than the more widely available balsamic vinegars.

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    2. Hi! Thanks for your reply! I guess I didn't use enough pasta and that's why the dressing was darker..hmm..didn't even think of that!! Anyway, it is delicious! I served some to my sister at the beach today and she said it was Heavenly!! :)

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