by Susan Hanna
This pasta salad recipe from Kitchn is light, tasty and feeds a crowd. Make a vinaigrette from garlic, lemon juice, oregano, wine vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard, oil and red onion and toss with cooked, cooled pasta, cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumber and goat cheese. I used red pepper instead of canned pimentos and feta instead of creamy goat cheese.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Use fresh lemon juice and a red wine vinegar without sulfites, such as Eden Organic. I used President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon. Olives and pine nuts may contain preservatives, so check the label. Tre Stelle feta is additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye for a Recipe.
For the vinaigrette
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil
- ¼ medium red onion, finely diced (½ cup/125 ml)
For the pasta salad
- 1 pound (454 g) dried short pasta, such as farfalle, fusilli, penne, orecchiette
- 10 ounces (283 g) cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup (125 ml) pitted kalamata olives, halved
- ¼ cup (60 ml) canned diced pimentos
- ½ medium English or hothouse cucumber, diced (about 1 cup/250 ml)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 4 ounces (113 g) goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup (125 ml) toasted pine nuts (optional)
- Make the vinaigrette: Place the garlic, lemon juice, oregano, vinegar, salt, sugar, Dijon, and pepper together in a glass jar. Add the oil, seal the jar, and shake until emulsified; set aside.
- Pickle the onion: Pour ½ cup (125 ml) of the dressing into a large bowl (reserve the remaining ¼ cup/60 ml for later) and add the red onion. Stir to coat, then set aside.
- Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
- Toss the salad: Add the drained pasta, tomatoes, olives, pimentos, cucumber, and basil to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat. (At this point, you can set the salad aside for a few hours.)
- Finish the salad: When ready to serve, add the reserved dressing, goat cheese, and nuts if using, then toss until well-combined.
Make ahead: This salad can be made through Step 4 and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Let the salad come to room temperature, and taste and season with more salt as needed, as cold temperatures can dull the flavors. Wait until just before serving to drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and add the cheese and nuts.