Yay, the warm weather is finally here so my thoughts are turning to fresh, lighter foods. I think my favourite ever savoury food in some kind of salad, so expect a few delicious salad recipes soon. I just love the variety you get in salads, the freshness, the fact you can combine all sorts on a plate to make the best lunch ever!
Ever since we went to Greece on holiday last summer souvlaki, tzatziki, pittas, and a cheese-free Greek salad have been regulars on our menu, and that inspired this pasta salad. I was thinking of ways to make a pasta salad more exciting and it came to me that if I combined pasta salad with our favourite Greek salad then we’d be onto a real winner. It is a lovely combination, the fresh crunchy veg add so much more interest to the pasta and the addition of oregano and garlic work perfectly to add bundles of flavour to the essentially bland pasta.
I left out the tomatoes because both girls absolutely hate them (I cannot fathom why because I’m extremely keen on tomatoes!) and no feta to make it dairy-free. But then added tomatoes into one batch to check the flavour. They add a nice juicy sweetness and obviously a real Greek salad definitely has tomatoes, but not having them in there doesn’t detract at all from the delicious salad.
If you do eat dairy, then the feta is a nice addition, but it really isn’t missed if you have the salad without. You could use vegan feta, but we’re not keen on it, so I would opt to go for the fresher and lighter dairy-free version anytime.
I used a mixture of black and green olives – use whichever you prefer, black would be more authentic but green are generally milder if that is your preference.
Greek Style Pasta Salad
- 200 g dried pasta
- ½ red onion about 50g finely sliced
- 100 g red pepper roughly cubed
- 100 g cucumber cubed
- 100 g tomatoes halved or quartered if using large ones
- 2 tbsp wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp garlic ideally fresh but garlic powder will do
- ½ tsp dried oregano plus more to garnish
- 50 g olives
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Optional: 50g feta or vegan feta alternative
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack until cooked al dente. Once cooked, drain and refresh under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, slice the red onion and place in a bowl of very cold water
- Chop the remaining vegetables and set aside
- In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and garlic. Stir the cooled pasta into the dressing and toss well.
- Drain the onions and stir into the dressed pasta, along with the other vegetables, oregano and olives.
- Taste a piece of pasta and add more salt if necessary.
- Add the lemon juice, stir and sprinkle over a bit more oregano.
- Add the feta/vegan feat alternative if using.
- This salad keeps well for a couple of days. Ideally remove from the fridge for at least half an hour before eating.