Since ancient times there has been what is known as the “Mediterranean triad” in Greek cooking. That triad is made up of wheat, olive oil and wine. This recipe makes use of two of those standards.
Greek cuisine has about a 4,000 year tradition and Greeks were savvy enough to incorporate food elements from other cultures into their cuisine. The first ever cookbook was written by Greek poet Archestratus in 320 BC.
You might not know in addition to being a foodie, I’m also a genealogist. Recently after doing some DNA testing, we discovered we have a small percentage of Greek ethnicity. I love a reason to try new foods.
So, what makes this Greek pasta salad nouveau?
Well, I would suggest using cheese-filled tortellini for your base pasta (wheat) instead of a standard pasta is a new twist. I highly recommend using fresh cheese tortellini. You can find it in most supermarkets. And, although I have seen similar recipes, this recipe is customized to our taste and needs.
For instance, you’ll see cucumbers used in a lot of Greek pasta recipes. Cucumbers are a direct route to terminal heartburn and stomach problems for me – unless they’re pickled. Go figure. There must be something about that family – I also can’t eat any kind of melon – unless I want to live with aforementioned terminal heartburn until I’m 6 feet in the ground or the Kardashians become normal, respectable humans – whichever comes first.
To compensate for a missing cucumber or two, I like to use other tasty ingredients. So, taking inspiration, into the kitchen I went and this salad was the end result. I’ve already made two batches and we’ve been enjoying this cool, delicious pasta salad on these hot summer day. And, my house smells like wonderful fresh basil – snipped straight from my kitchen herb garden.
Nouveau Greek Pasta Salad
18 ounces of fresh cheese tortellini
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup chopped red onion (a full cup wouldn’t hurt if you like)
1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into large chunks
3/4 cup kalamata olives, cut in half
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
5 – 6 whole large garlic stuffed green olives, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh basil, finely snipped or chopped
1/2 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
- Cook the fresh cheese tortellini according to package. I suggest adding the tortellini to boiling water and cooking for 5 minutes. Drain well.
- While the pasta is cooking prepare the vegetables, fresh basil and seasonings.
- Combine the pasta and other salad ingredients. I use my hands to gently toss the ingredients to combine well.
- Next, add the ingredients for the dressing into a jar that has a lid. Cover the jar with the lid and shake very well to combine.
- Pour dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine.
You can eat the salad as soon as you put it together or refrigerate it to eat later. Refrigerate leftovers.
© 2017 Beverly Hicks Burch
Tagged: Apple Cider Vinegar, Basil, Cooking, Dijon Mustard, Easy Cooking, Ethnic Food, Feta Cheese, Food, Garlic, Greek Food, Herbs, Kalamata Olives, Lemon, Olives, One Dish Meals, Pasta, Recipes, Salads, Summer Food, Tomatoes, Tortellini, Vegetables