For July’s #TheSaladBar we have all come up with Salads that you can take to a potluck. One of my favorite things to bring to cookouts, parties or potlucks is a pasta salad. Pasta bulks up salads and is a great way to feed many people. This July, Michigan, has been much cooler than in the years past. There has been a ton of rain and our garden is growing wildly. I am certainly not complaining, but I wanted something to showcase all the fresh veggies that are in season. Mediterranean cuisine is filled with fresh ingredients and olive oil. What better than to combine all these into a pasta salad to share with family and friends.
The pasta used in this dish is Orzo. It is a rice shaped noodle that cooks up well and is not over bearing on a hot day. To a pound of cooked and cooled orzo, I added in Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, slivered Radishes and thinly sliced Red Onion. To dress this salad I made my own Greek style dressing.
Greek Style Salad Dressing
- 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3/4 cups Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Garlic Clove Minced
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Dillweed
- Salt and Pepper to taste (I use 1/4 tsp of salt and lots of black pepper.)
Remember when making dressing, it is easier to add then to take away. Be sure to taste your dressing and add salt and pepper a little at a time.
|You can whisk everything together in a bowl or like I do, combine in a food processor|
|If using a food processor, I first add in my dried herbs and spices. I then pulse a couple of times to release some of the flavors.|
|After you have added in the herbs and spices, I add in the garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil and red wine vinegar and mix well.|
|The dressing is ready to use right away. You can adjust the salt and pepper to your taste. Also, I tend to like brightness of the vinegar so I am heavy handed with it, but it is all a matter of taste.|
Once you have tossed everything together, chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This is great topped and served with a sprinkling of feta cheese and/or fresh basil ribbons. The brightness of the red wine vinegar really plays well with the fresh ingredients. This salad is great on its own, but will compliment whatever meat you happen to be grilling/serving at the party.
Be sure to check out all the other great salads that are being presented today. The list is amazing. They are so colorful and just make you want to take a bite.