It’s now officially summer! And it has come in with a bang in the Boston area- 98 degrees yesterday and it may hit 100 later today. With such heat, we usually opt to grill outside as much as possible. For Father’s Day on Sunday, I pulled together this simple Greek Pasta Salad with some ingredients I already had on hand. I loved how it came together and it was the perfect accompaniment to our grilled steak tips, sausages, and zucchini.
I recommend making this Greek Pasta Salad early in the day while it’s cooler out and the flavors get a chance to meld together. I also don’t add the tomatoes until I’m ready to serve the pasta salad as tomatoes lose a lot of their flavor if they are refrigerated. If you don’t feel like dicing up olives or roasting a red pepper, be sure to check your supermarket antipasto bar- an olive tapenade or pre-made roasted red peppers will work in a pinch!
- 16 oz box fusilli pasta
- 1 red pepper, washed, trimmed, and cut in half
- ½ cup olive oil (or more to taste)
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano or 2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup kalamata olives, diced
- ½ small red onion, diced
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place red pepper halves on a baking sheet covered with foil. Bake for about 15 minutes until peel starts to blacken. Take baking sheet out of the oven and wrap pepper tightly with the aluminum foil it was baking on. Once it has cooled, remove peel and dice red pepper into small pieces.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, anchovy paste, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- In a large bowl toss together the cooked pasta, red pepper, olives, red onion, feta, and dressing. Cover and chill in refrigerator for as least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, add diced tomatoes; toss. Makes 12 to 16 side-dish servings.
What is your favorite dish to prepare when the temperatures are soaring?