Easy Grecian Pasta Salad
1 1/2 cups small pasta, orzo preferred
1 small can sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup diced sweet red bell pepper
OR roasted red pepper
2 thinly sliced radishes
4 thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup minced celery
1 small grated carrot
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce package ranch dressing mix
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Greek Seasoning, McCormick's brand preferred
Cook pasta according to directions on the package, but do not add any salt.
Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.
Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Drain olives, rinse, and drain well again.
Add to the pasta.
Add pepper, radishes, scallions, celery, carrot, basil leaves, and feta cheese.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk together to blend well.
Pour over the pasta mixture and toss to coat.
Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Toss again and serve on chilled salad plates.
Pairs Well With
Yet another recipe from TOH that ended up being such a pleasant surprise!! With the heat of summer upon us, this is definitely one I find myself making more often!! I was so impressed with it when I tried it, I feel I have to share part of my review I did over on that board!! So.....
"Wow! This was a very pleasant surprise! I really like feta cheese and this recipe is a perfect example of why I like it so much!.....Even DH who doesn't much care for feta is impressed!!.....When I first tasted it once it was all mixed together, I wasn't impressed. I know the recipe says to chill for a couple hours, but you know how it is when you're cooking!! LOL After 3 hours we sampled it and it was much better. But the next day? It was excellent!!"
You may use any small pasta you prefer, but my favorite is orzo - the little rice shaped pasta. I have also used the tiny shells and small elbows.
Kay says ~ I did use the orzo pasta and highly recommend it! My thought is the flavors might get a bit lost in the bigger pastas. But that's JMHO!
Also, when I find a recipe that calls for red wine vinegar, I usually use half red wine and half red wine vinegar. It's just my own personal taste! You really do NOT taste the wine at all and it is such a small amt.
And finally, when I added the dressing, I thought it was going to be a bit on the dry side. But rather than adding more dressing to it at that time, I decided to wait and see what happened. Trust me, if make look dry in the beginning. But the amt. of dressing the recipe calls for is just right!!