This pasta salad is a family and friends favorite! I can’t even remember exactly when I first whipped this salad up but it’s been a party staple as it’s easy to make, doesn’t take a lot of time and is always a crowd pleaser. I use a bow-tie pasta for this salad — it’s fun and I find it allows all the flavors to blend well. The secret to the signature bold flavor of this pasta salad is the garlic… lots of garlic!
Preparation: 15 minutes
- 1 lb dry pasta of your choice*
- 4 – 5 large organic tomatoes
- 6 oz pitted black kalamata olives
- 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup fresh organic basil, coarsely chopped
- garlic balsamic vinaigrette
* Quinoa or brown rice pasta make a wonderful gluten-free choice. Cook according to package directions.
For the vinaigrette: (yields 1.5 cups)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
Making the vinaigrette:
Place all ingredients in a sealed jar and shake vigorously until fully blended. For a creamier vinaigrette, place ingredients in a blender and blend for 10 seconds or so.
To enhance the garlic flavor, prepare this dressing a day ahead of time.
Making the salad:
Cook pasta until just past al dente. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking and allow to cool. Place in large bowl, drizzle with a little bit of the dressing and toss to keep pasta from sticking.
Dice tomatoes and olives and add to pasta.
Add feta cheese, crushed garlic and basil.
Drizzle with generous amount of vinaigrette and toss until all ingredients are combined.
This salad is best served chilled. For bold flavor, prepare at least 2 hours before serving but up to a day early.
Add additional feta and basil before serving for a nice presentation.