The heat is on in Charlotte, NC. Literally, because it is finally warm and muggy outside. Figuratively, because my #4, Clifton, is graduating from High School in a couple of weeks! All of a sudden the year end events, lax games (Go Hawks!), graduation gifts, and goodbyes have me in an all out scramble to keep up!
Thank goodness for pasta salads. I am ahead of the curve today because I have a delicious Pasta Salad with Feta, Tomato, Dill, and Pine Nuts tucked away in the fridge. Bow tie pasta. tangy feta cheese, grape tomatoes, fresh dill, and buttery toasted pine nuts are tossed together with a classic lemony vinaigrette dressing to make a refreshing warm weather meal or on the go snack. You can make this salad ahead of time and serve straight from the refrigerator or bring it to room temperature and serve it as part of a buffet or at a picnic. You can vary the fresh vegetables and herbs, substitute your favorite pasta (try whole wheat) and switch out the cheeses to create your signature version of this classic heat beating pasta salad!
Pasta Salad with Feta, Tomato, Dill and Pine Nuts
Serves 8 to 10
1 pound farfalle pasta, cooked al dente and drained
12 ounces crumbled feta cheese (we used reduced fat)
3 cups halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1. Put the cooked pasta into a large bowl. Add the feta, grape tomatoes, dill and pine nuts. Toss the pasta until the ingredients are well mixed. Set the bowl aside.
2. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, lemon zest, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir the ingredients with a whisk or fork until the dressing is well blended.
3. Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture. Toss the pasta and dressing until the salad is well mixed. Refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. Toss the pasta salad prior to serving.