Maybe its the fact that we had MONTHS of rain without let up (it seemed) and it’s now time for change – or maybe its the fact that we went on holiday to a really hot sunny country (always a good way to get the weather to break!) – or maybe it’s the fact that July is BBQ dishes on the Four Seasons Food Challenge hosted by Chez Foti (this month) and Delicieux – whatever the reason, we have been having some great BBQ weather here in the UK, haven’t we?
In fact it was SO hot last weekend that we decided NOT to have a barbecue (I can already hear you shouting ‘ wimps’) as it would make things too hot (are we never satisfied?!?).
This recipe makes a great dish whether you’re serving with a real barbecue – or, served with some crusty bread, makes a simple supper to eat in the sun in the garden. It’s so colorful that it makes you feel like it’s summer and eating-outside-weather, even if it’s not. It’s also reasonably quick so we sometimes have it for supper without the barbecue.
The inspiration came from a Jamie Oliver recipe but I’ve given the details here as it has evolved somewhat since then. The quantities of ingredients have always been measured in ‘handfuls’ so the amounts I’ve given are a bit approximate – just make sure the colors are about equal (except for maybe the black olives) and it’ll taste just fine!
Greek Pasta Salad
- 200g pasta
- 1 clove garlic, peeled (optional)
- 200g cherry (plum) tomatoes
- ½ cucumber
- 1 yellow pepper
- couple of handfuls sliced black olives
- 200g packet of feta
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon oregano – &/or a handful of fresh basil leaves torn if you prefer
- salt and black pepper
- Pop the garlic clove into a large pan of salted boiling water, and cook pasta according to packet instructions
- Wash and dice the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and ½ the feta and place in a large bowl with the sliced olives
- Make the dressing: mix together the olive oil, lemon juice (you can use white wine vinegar but I prefer the slightly gentler taste of lemon juice), salt, pepper and oregano and stir / shake well
- Drain the pasta when cooked, remove the garlic but reserve a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water – stir through the pasta
- Put the pasta into the bowl with the vegetables. Pour over the dressing and give it all a good stir before serving. Scatter with more feta if you wish. I usually serve warm as a side dish for a barbecue, or with some warm crusty bread as a quick supper.