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BackstoryYet 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!!
- 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.