2013 – Gluten Free Living
I have to admit Greek or Mediterranean salads are a few of our favorites. We love the combination of olive oil dressings and all the veggies we adore from the Mediterranean-style diet. Black olives, diced bell peppers in assorted colors, diced red onion, lots of tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, feta cheese, pepperoni and pasta–oh my, what’s not to like in this fantastic combination?
Last summer I saw a picture of this fantastic looking Greek Pasta Salad from Christina at Sweet Peas Kitchen. It’s taken me awhile to get around to making it but I am so glad I did. This salad went way beyond my expectations. It was outstanding. In fact, I liked it so much I’m going to put this on my regular menu. I salivated over every bite and that’s saying something. Granted, I eat a LOT of salads but the flavors of this dressing were extraordinary. I added a few things to the recipe and especially the addition of chopped avocado was wonderful. Pepperocinis, capers, artichoke hearts, canned mushrooms, corn cobettes, or hearts of palm are also great additions that would enhance an already fantastic salad. Her source for this Greek Pasta Salad was My Baking Addiction. Both blogs are excellent and worthy of checking out sometime. I am truly grateful for each of them sharing this awesome recipe.
I used gluten free pasta noodles in this recipe so for those of you with gluten intolerance here’s a recipe you can enjoy without repercussions from eating a wheat-based pasta. I would recommend, however, that you stay away from corn-based pastas and instead look for pastas made from brown rice or potato starch. They seem to hold up better and have a better taste and consistency over corn pastas.
If you’re looking for a deliciously tasty way to get your kids to eat their vegetables or you’re trying to use up some of your garden produce, consider trying this amazing Greek Pasta Salad recipe. This spectacular salad is great for your company menu, too. Take this along to holiday potlucks and you will be lucky if you escape with any leftovers. The flavors in this salad permeate and infuse the veggies if you allow it to refrigerate for a few hours before serving it. But even if you serve it right away it still tastes amazing!
This colorful and festive salad is one of the few to die for in my opinion.
This salad has so many health benefits from all the delicious veggies that go into it.
This Greek Pasta Salad also has a wonderful homemade dressing that transforms this salad from great into spectacular!
This close up shows the texture of the veggies and all the ingredients that make up this delicious salad.
Here’s a bowl of my gluten free Greek Pasta Salad.
Here’s what I did.
I used gluten free noodles. I highly recommend you use gluten free noodles made from rice flour and/or potato starch flour rather than corn flour. Corn flour pasta will harden as it cools and refrigerates.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
I ran cold water over the pasta after I cooked it to st0p the enzyme process and so the noodles would not continue cooking.
Place drained noodles in bowl.
Add chopped cucumber. I leave the peel on for more nutrition. It also helps the cucumbers not deteriorate quite so quickly.
Halve the grape tomatoes and pepperoni. Dice the red onion and bell peppers.
Add tomatoes to the bowl.
Add the cucumber.
Add the bell peppers. I used a red, orange and green bell pepper.
Here are the green bell peppers.
Add diced red onion.
Add pitted Kalamata olives.
Add pepperoni slices, halved.
Add diced avocado. I wish I would have used 2 or 3 avocados. One was a little too skimpy!
Here the avocados are tossed onto the salad.
Add part of the feta cheese. Reserve the remaining feta cheese to add just before serving.
Here’s a look at the salad before it went into the refrigerator for a few hours.
Here’s another look at it.
To make the salad dressing: measure out olive oil.
Add red wine vinegar.
Add garlic powder.
Add Italian seasoning.
Add sugar. The original recipe called for Za-atar. I’m going to try to find that at the grocery store and add it the next time I make this dressing. Even still, the dressing was wonderful.
Mix dressing thoroughly. Set aside part of the dressing to add in after the flavors marinate in the refrigerator overnight and just before you’re ready to serve the Greek Pasta Salad.
Pour the salad dressing over top of the salad.
Here the salad has been drenched with the homemade dressing.
Toss the salad.
Here’s what it looks like. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add remaining salad dressing and reserved feta cheese just before serving.
This salad was spectacular!
This close up shows the texture of this delicious salad.
This turned out to be one of my favorite all-time salads. I could eat a bowl of this every week!
This salad is beautiful in appearance too. Certainly elegant enough for company dinners.
The flavors of the salad dressing permeated all the ingredients quite powerfully. Truly, this ranks as one of the best tasting salads I’ve had….and I really like salad!
Here’s the recipe.
GREEK PASTA SALAD
For the Dressing:
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons basil dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
For the Salad:
16-oz. whole grain rotini pasta or gluten free pasta cooked according to package directions (gluten free corn pasta not recommended)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 avocado, cubed (2 or 3 would be better)
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, cut in half
2 cups crumbled feta cheese, divided
1 (6-ounce) package of sliced pepperoni, cut in half
Measure olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and sugar into a large measuring cup. Whisk ingredients to combine. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, diced red onions, avocados, olives, 1 1/2 cups of feta cheese and pepperoni. Reserve ½ cup of dressing and store in the refrigerator. Toss the pasta salad with the rest of the dressing until evenly coated. Cover, and chill overnight. Right before serving, add the reserved dressing and remaining ½ cup of feta cheese and toss to coat. Serve. Makes 8-10 substantial servings.
NOTE: You can also add pepperocinis, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, canned mushrooms, or capers to this recipe.
NOTE: The original recipe calls for Za-atar in the dressing which is a spice you can get at specialty shops. I didn’t know about it when I tried the recipe but I’m going to look for it and try it next time I make this recipe.
Greek Pasta Salad is a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies!
Don’t forget to add the reserved salad dressing and 1/2 cup of Feta cheese before serving. Stir to combine.
This salad has gone onto my favorites list!
Come sit down with me and enjoy a bowl!