Joy the Baker

It’s Not Summer Yet Greek Pasta Salad

February 20, 2014

not yet summer greek pasta salad

Often my cravings tell me more about what I want, than the produce tables at the farmer’s market.

I know fresh tomatoes and cucumbers aren’t exactly deep winter foods, but I really just needed to combine them in a bowl with salty feta…. juuust to be sure.

This pasta salad feels extra indulgent because it tastes like early summer when most of you are ankle-deep in slush.  To be fair, this pasta salad is also loaded with an almost embarrassing amount of sheep’s milk feta.  So… should we start counting the days until Memorial Day now?  Too soon?

not yet summer greek pasta salad

I really respect recipes that come together by the handful in a large bowl.  It just feels right.

The vegetables are fresh and crisp.  They’re juicy too!

Feta cheese is added in abundance, as is sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  I like to chop my basil at the last minute, to keep it from bruising and browning excessively.

A simple lemon vinaigrette is shaken in a mason and generously poured over the pasta.

not yet summer greek pasta salad

After the two-spoon-toss, tadaaa!

It’s lunch.  It’s dinner.  It’s just stand in the kitchen and eat as much as you want.

It feels a bit silly to write out a recipe for this salad.  It’s mostly just handfuls of pasta, chopped tomatoes, cucumber and feta.  Where you see cups in the recipe below, feel free to just eyeball it and toss ingredients in by the handful. It’s more fun that way, really!

It’s Not Summer Yet Greek Pasta Salad

Print this Recipe!

adapted from Ina Garten and the rest of the internet

For the Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced shallots

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For the Pasta Salad:

5 cups cooked orzo pasta

2 cups de-seeded and coarsely chopped English Cucumbers

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 heaping cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup thinly sliced purple onion

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

I like to make my salad dressings in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.  If you don’t have a jar, you can also vigorously whisk the mixture in a large bowl.

In a medium mason jar combine olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt a fresh cracked black pepper.  Secure the lid tightly and shake vigorously until emulsified.  Taste and season with more lemon, honey, salt, or pepper as necessary.  Set aside.

In a large bowl toss together orzo pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, onion, and fresh basil.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Just before serving, drizzle in the dressing. Taste and season accordingly.  Serve immediately.  

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