Friday, July 18, 2008

Dreaming of Greece: Greek Pasta Salad

In our quest to eat healthier, I've been looking to the flavors of the Mediterranean for inspiration. Lately I seem to be focusing on Greece. Greece is a place I've always wanted to go. In fact, my love of all things Greek probably propelled me into studying archaeology in college. I was hoping to come up with a cool, flavorful salad to serve alongside my chicken sandwiches the other night. A quick Google and I came up with the idea for a Greek Pasta Salad. After a day at the beach (where the water is definitely not Aegean blue!), something cold and quick and easy to prepare yet with plenty of flavor fit the bill.

This recipe for Greek Pasta Salad was the perfect side to our sandwiches. I did omit the tuna and it turned out great. Quick and easy to throw together from things I keep on hand, this one is definitely a keeper!

Greek Pasta Salad
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine, August 2004

3 cups uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
Cooking spray
1 tuna steak (about 3/4 inch thick) -- (8-ounce)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sliced peeled cucumber
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese with peppercorns -- (3 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 cherry tomatoes -- halved

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

To prepare salad, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain; place in a large bowl.

Heat a large grill pan coated with cooking spray over high heat. Sprinkle tuna with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add tuna; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; cool slightly. Cut tuna into 1-inch pieces. Add tuna, cucumber, and next 5 ingredients (cucumber through tomatoes) to pasta.

To prepare dressing, combine lemon juice and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad, and toss gently to coat.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Have been lurking on your blog for a while, but never commented. Love your recipes!

I do a greek salad for dinner with the same dressing (although I add some good balsamic vinegar to it). Ingredients:

kalamata olives
red onion, shaved very thin
a little red or orange pepper

Good stuff! ..... babspeapod