Improv Challenge: Greek Pasta Salad

I won’t lie. Corn and Butter stumped me.

Greek Pasta Salad

For this month’s Improv Challenge,  hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, I knew exactly what I was going to make. One thing immediately comes to mind when I think of Tomatoes and Peppers: Greek Pasta Salad.

When I was in high school ( and for a short time after I graduated), I worked as a cook in a small local restaurant  that did catering on the side. Especially in the summer.  Many nights were spent not only cooking, cleaning and prepping for the next morning, but also prepping for an upcoming event they were catering. I won’t lie, I hated the catering jobs. You were always fighting for space in the small kitchen, it was almost impossible to get on top of prep work, they made ten tons of dishes,  and it always meant you were in for an extra long shift.

Greek Pasta Salad

The good part about it is that you were almost always rewarded with a bowl of this pasta salad. It was sooo good. I lucked out one day, and was able to take some home with me.  I stuck the containers in the fridge, told my mom there was some leftovers from the restaurant there and then thought no more of it until I got home from and early shift the next day. It was gone. All gone.  And Mom was asking how they made it.

So we tinkered with it, and found something just as irresistible. My brother will literally mound this on his plate.  And it turns out we weren’t the only ones who thought so.  Whenever we took it to get-togethers, we were almost always asked for the recipe. A friend loved it so much, that when she got married, it was my job to bring the salad to the showers, Jack and Jill, and rehearsal dinners. Both her and her new mother-in-law ended up with the recipe afterwards.

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

  • 450g / 1 lb uncooked fusili or other curly pasta
  • 1 pint container of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green onion, chopped or 1/2 red onion chopped ( Red onion is prettier in the salad, but gets to be overpowering if you  make it ahead of time)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  •  greek dressing (recipe below) or store-bought creamy feta dressing.
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse the pasta slightly ( otherwise I find you get a solid lump of pasta) then chill.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, cherry tomatoes, green pepper, onions and feta. Before serving, pour in the dressing and mix well. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Greek Dressing

adapted from the restaurants house dressing and Best Recipes ever

  • 1 cup sour cream or greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sour cream, feta cheese, garlic, oregano, parsley and 1/2 tsp pepper. Pulse a few times to combine and break up the feta.
  2. Add the vinegar and the olive oil and pulse for about 30 seconds. Give the dressing a taste and add the remainder of the pepper if desired. We like it quite peppery.
  3. Pour over your salad or into a container and store in the fridge.

Seriously, eat this now.

And don’t forget to check out what others came up with using tomatoes and peppers!

-Mel


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I also featured this recipe on The Weekend Potluck, the Stone Gable, and Strut Your Stuff Saturday. Click the link to check out more great recipes.

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Categories: Sandwiches and Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Improv Challenge: Greek Pasta Salad

  1. What a beautiful salad. That dressing sounds amazing. Great choice!

  2. I love pasta salads. This looks so good! What a great choice for the improv challenge.

  3. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm — my favorite pasta salad! (The hubs keeps trying to get me to buy the 5-gallon tub of feta from Costco…)
    nom – nom – nom

  4. I love recipes with a story behind them! This salad looks amazing, and I can see why everyone wants the recipe!

  5. I too was stumped last month but it looks like we both had more fun with tomatoes and peppers. Your pasta salad sounds delicious.

    Thank you for visiting my entry: French Fries Hash Browns.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I love the salad you’ve made for the Improv Challenge! The tomatoes and peppers add so much colour to your pasta salad! The homemade salad dressing sounds absolutely amazing! Do you think it would go well with a lettuce salad as well?

    Pinned your recipe!

  7. Feta is amazing in salads and dressings! Best of all, it keeps for ages in the refrigerator so I always have some on hand. That dressing sounds good enough to eat with a spoon. :) I will be making this today. This very minute. Thank you.

    • Feta is amazing, although it never lasts for ages in my house. :D
      Let me know how it turns out for you!

      • It was delicious! The whole family loved it and a couple of us even had seconds. That dressing is indeed wonderful and now I think I have to make another batch of it to keep in the refrigerator. I am imagining it on pan-fried salmon, for dipping carrot sticks, even as an alternative to Caesar dressing on a salad of romaine hearts. We have a new family favorite. Thank you!

      • Wow! I’m glad you liked it!

  8. Oh, boy, this is one amazing pasta salad…full of such great ingredients!! No wonder you’re always asked for the recipe :)

  9. Am going to a picnic tomorrow and totally making this. I love the idea of a creamy pasta salad! Happy Impov to you!

  10. You got me at G R E E K ! Oh this looks so refreshing and delicious…thanks!

  11. Pingback: Top 10 Recipes for 2012 | ginger bakes

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