So, we had a new impromptu challenge over at RWOP. One that did NOT involve cream cheese which is kind of nice. We were given three ingredients and told to come up with something. I don't think anybody wins anything other than an honorable mention and bragging rights but, what the hell, I love a challenge. What was really great about this little task was that it removed the creative block I was having with my side dish recipe idea. Seriously, between last season and the cooking creme contest, we have creamed every freaking vegetable out there! Rice, potatoes and pasta have all been creamed to death too! So, I am happy to say I now have a decent recipe idea that I will try and execute for dinner tonight. In the meantime here is what I came up with for the current, non-cream cheese, challenge. I had to use a frozen vegetable, lemons or limes and spaghetti in my recipe. I intitally thought I might try going the lime route with a thai or latin inspired dish but decided to stay in my comfort zone for now. Since I am dying for summer to come so I can get to my picnics on the beach I came up with this pasta salad recipe. What's great about this recipe is that you won't give anyone food poisoning with it if it gets a little warm!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
1 pound Spaghetti, dried
1/2 cup Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
4 tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. black pepper, divided
1 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 cup(s) Frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
1/2cup kalamata olives, seeded
1/2 cup Sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3/4 pound good feta cheese, diced
1. Break spaghetti in half and cook in a pot of well salted water until al dente
2. While pasta is cooking whisk tpgether lemon juice, 1/2 C olive oil, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
3. Drain pasta and pour dressing over it while still hot. Toss to combine
4. Add spinach, onions, olives, tomatoes, parsley, dill, cucumber and remaining salt and pepper and toss to combine
5. Gently stir in feta cheese.
6. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature to allow flavors to meld or refrigerate over night.
7. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve at room temperature
Photo coming soon!