No wonder Greek salad is such a staple for barbecuing season – every adult loves it, and it’s easy for kids to deconstruct to suit their tastes. Adding pasta makes it more substantial, and both pasta and the ingredients in a Greek salad are sturdy and not prone to wilting, making them perfectly portable and ideal if you’re looking to serve a crowd. To turn it into a one-dish meal, add cooked shrimp or chunks of chicken.
In summer, we go to a lot of barbecues, and as pot-lucks make their way back into vogue, it’s becoming more common to bring a dish to a dinner party. Greek salad seems to be a universal favorite, and it’s easy to transport – particularly with the pasta, which won’t wilt like a basic green salad tends to. And to kids, the twirly pasta makes it seem a little less like just a salad.
Greek Pasta Salad
Instead of the lemon, olive oil and oregano, which is classic for a Greek salad, you could toss this with any bottled balsamic vinaigrette.
red onion, sliced thin (you decide how much you want)
1/2 English cucumber, cut into chunks
3-4 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 red, orange or yellow pepper, cored and cut into chunks
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup cubed or crumbled feta
1 cup dry rotini or other chunky pasta shape
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
juice of 1-2 lemons
olive oil, to taste
1/4 tsp dried oregano, crumbled or 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain well and rinse under cool water to stop it from cooking. Combine the vegetables, olives, feta and pasta and toss well. Start dressing it with the juice of 1 fresh lemon, add a glug of olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper. Toss again, and taste to see if you need more lemon, oil or seasoning. Keep chilled until ready to serve, and toss again just before serving. Serves 6-10.