7 May 2008

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Ricotta & Feta

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Ricotta and Feta

The talented duo Holler of Tinned Tomatoes and fellow Canadian Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen have a fabulous vegetarian blogging event No Croutons Required each month. Both of these ladies follow a vegetarian and healthy lifestyle which is evident in each of their feature stories. They are both such sweeties that I had to participate in their event as often as I can!!

Holler is one of the very first blogging friends I ever met over a year ago. She brought me out of the "lurking" stage to taking photos and blogging about the foods we eat. Lisa is very passionate about East Indian foods and a friend who comes from my old stomping grounds of Ontario. Glad to see that Spring has sprung in the East!!!

This months theme for the event was salads... featuring CHEESE. Now I am all over that!!! Of course for myself, loving "all things Greek," as I do the first thing that came to mind was feta cheese. Feta is traditionally made of sheep's or goat's milk, though today large commercial producers often make it with cow's milk. It's salty, goat-y flavour add the perfect foil for the oregano and dill dressing. With the summer months come many side salads and quick dishes. I for one don't want to spend all my time cooped up in the kitchen. This pasta salad is perfect for a quick meal for all my vegetarian friends or as a side dish with grilled lamb or chicken.



**Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Ricotta and Feta**

Dressing:

1/2 large red onion, (about 5 ounces), finely chopped
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves (or, use 1 T dried oregano)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, (or, use 2 tsp dried dill)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1 pound fusilli (corkscrew) or penne pasta
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (or approximately two dozen), halved
1 English cucumber (about 12 ounces) quartered lengthwise,
then sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (alternatively, use 2 medium cucumbers, peel and seed them, cut as directed)
1 cup kalamata olives, (about 4 ounces) pitted and halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1- 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup (4 ounces) crumbled California cow's milk Feta cheese
1 ounce crumbled Feta cheese, for garnish

Combine all dressing ingredients except for the oil, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil until it is thoroughly combined with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. (Can be made the day before and refrigerated.)

Bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still slightly firm to the bite. Drain (do not rinse) and let cool to room temperature, mixing occasionally. When cool, place in a large bowl and add the dressing. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix until the dressing is well distributed. Add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper and 1 ounce of Feta for garnish. Let stand for 1/2 hour. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining crumbled Feta and serve.

Serves 8

TIP: You may omit the salt depending on the saltiness of your feta

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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34 comments:

  1. Lovely fresh, summery flavours Val..great with the crumbled feta as well. I swear that list reminds me of the Academy awards!...LOL

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  2. You are the award queen! This is the most refreshing pasta salad. Makes me long for the sunshine .

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  3. Thanks for the award! It's much appreciated.

    I'll try to pass it on sometime next week - I'm revving up for a very busy summer and am lucky to be able to hit the computer for a half-hour at a time right now.

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  4. Hey thanks for including with all those other great bloggers! Your salad looks great, I've never had ricotta in a salad before.

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  5. Val, Right back at you with that award, because you make my day too!Thank you so much, it means alot to me. I always enjoy my visits with you!!
    xoxo, Marie

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  6. Thanks Val :) that was so nice of you,you always have something nice for everyone.I really appreciate you looking at my blog and leaving nice comments.
    Thats again a healthy,beautiful salad.

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  7. That pasta salad is fantastic, and a wonderful reminder that summer is just around the corner. :) Gratz on your award - you deserve it.

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  8. Congratulations on your very well deserved awards, my dear! That salad looks incredibly delicious...I'm thinking of making some ricotta soon...I hadn't thought of using it in a salad! Thanks for the great idea and inspiration! :D

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  9. Congrats on your awards! The salad looks refreshing and delicious!

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  10. What a lovely salad! And thank you so much for the award!

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  11. That's a great looking salad. It'd be just perfect for lunch in the park or a BBQ.

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  12. Awww.. You are too sweet! Now that is the kind of refreshing pasta that would go down really well in Malaysia where it is ALWAYS summer! When you coming to visit????

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  13. WONDERFUL salad, Val! I've been looking for a good pasta salad - I can't wait to try this.

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  14. Yum, Val. These types of pasta salads are very similar to the ones I live on for work lunches during the spring :)

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  15. Congrats on the honors. They are well deserved.

    This salad looks wonderful. This is definitely a great idea for brown bag lunches. Must mark for near future!

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  16. Thanks Valli! You are such a sweetie! I so appreciate the award! I believe you are well deserving of this too! :)

    Love the pasta salad! I want this for lunch!

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  17. Peter G: You look like you are dressed for the awards;D
    Glamah: There are too many people to mention who deserve these awards
    Ferdzy:Blogging is a very time consuming hobby, but well worth it
    Sara: The ricotta adds a creaminess to the salad which I love (but this time round I used mascarpone because it is what I had on hand)
    Marie: I enjoy visiting
    N33ma: Your welcome, but well deserved on your part
    Heather: You are definitely a blogger who deserves all your accolades
    Nikki: Making your own ricotta, good for you:D I still have to get cracking on making some halloumi
    HoneyB: Thanks very much
    Ann: Your welcome and well deserved
    Sylvie: This salad is a mainstay for my picnics
    Dharm: I wish I could visit soon, there is a cooking school there in Malaysia I want to visit
    Jen: Give it a try
    Elly: This is my lunch today as well
    Shorty: Give it a try:D
    Jenn: This award is well deserved by you that's for sure:D

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  18. Lovely salad, perfect for fresh summer nights and cheese lovers, lol!
    You soooo deserve all awards, I'm not surprised to see that you'll soon need a blogg attachment!!! :D

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  19. What a great salad Val. Thanks so much for the award!!! Congratulations on yours...you certainly deserve them!

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  20. Thanks Val, you're the one that Make my Day. It's so nice what you said about me. Thanks and Cheers to the long friendship!

    By the way I would love this salad. Looks great.

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  21. Thanks for your kind words Val. This is a great entry. Ricotta AND feta cheese. And I can never get enough olives. Wow!

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  22. This pasta salad looks awesome,expecially with all of the fresh summer flavors!

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  23. Gorgeous, gorgeous pasta salad Val and I really like the photo :) Thanks for entering it into the challenge!

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  24. Congrats on your deserved awards!

    I just want to pick all the cheese from the salad :)

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  25. This pasta salad sounds really good with its tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, cheese, more cheese, lemon and dill...mmm...

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  26. Val, thank you so much! I am honored that you thought of me. I'll have to bounce one right back to you, because you are always tops on my list!

    Now, I'd love to grab a forkful of that delicious looking pasta! ;)

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  27. Congrats on your awards, Val! I am loving that Greek salad! I've got plenty of oregano in my garden that is begging to be used in a salad.

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  28. Hey, well deserved awards :)

    I'm a fan of all things Greek too- I love the idea of incorporating both ricotta and feta into a pasta salad!

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  29. This is a very tasty looking salad, and double cheese means twice as good! And congrats

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  30. Hmmm, I think I have most of those ingredients at home already...

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  31. Congrats on the awards Val. Well deserved. Lovely pasta salad, perfect for summer.

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  32. Great sounding salad & more blogs that sound wonderful and that I should visit :)

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  33. This salad looks so fantastic! I think I may just make this next week!

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  34. AnonymousMay 20, 2011

    Hi there -- I love this recipe idea and I was just wondering if it was ricotta or ricotta salata. I didn't know how soft ricotta would do in the dish. Please help!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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