This Greek Pasta Salad will easily become your favorite summer salad. It's full of summer's seasonal bounty, healthy and gluten-free. Bring it to your next barbecue and watch it disappear.
Hope your summer is going well and you are spending lots of lazy days at the pool not packing lunches, doing homework and carpooling! I love the summer's lack of routine. We have a few camps interspersed but for the most part, we are free.
As I have talked about before, I love giving my kids extra chores in the summer. Why not? They are home, so shouldn't they take on some of the household duties that are usually mine? Yes! Here are the chores that are in regular rotation at our house...
- feed dog twice per day
- take dog for walk or play ball with him in backyard (this should be something they want to do, but apparently not)
- unload and load the dishwasher
- make your own breakfast and lunch
- make your bed
- do your laundry, fold and put away (struggling a bit with this one)
- do your homework workbook each day
- each week I give them an organizing job like clean out the shelves in your closet but I help them with these
- IXL on the computer (amazing site for practicing skills - check it out!)
- I also offer bigger jobs for pay like weeding or cleaning out the garage
So far so good on the chore front, except for the laundry. I think maybe I'm expecting too much there and now I just have a bunch of permanently wrinkled clothes. Ugh! I'm also trying to get them involved in the kitchen. I tried to teach my nine year old how to make chicken quesadillas yesterday. Of course, he would need to be supervised with the stove but it's easy. As long as I have grilled chicken prepared, he can do it. I love having grilled chicken in the fridge bc it helps the kids prepare snacks and meals quickly.
I know that you guys are headed to lots of pool parties, cookouts, and block parties this summer. This is the perfect salad to please the masses. You can make it gluten-free and no one will be the wiser. It easily holds up in the fridge for a few days of healthy lunches. You may think everyone knows how to make a Greek Pasta Salad but this one has a few special tricks up its' sleeve.
For one, you must use basil and tomato flavored feta. It has so much flavor and adds so much to this salad. You must!
I swapped out cucumbers for thinly sliced zucchini and it is a hit. I hate chunky pieces of zucchini so don't go there. Thinly sliced, trust me.
Be generous with the herbs and use fresh. Sometimes we think of herbs as a garnish, but in this case, use them generously. It makes each bite of pasta have a fresh burst of flavor.
If you want to make it extra special use tri-colored grape tomatoes. More color is better.
Find a gluten-free pasta that tastes good, duh. I like Gluten-Free Bionaturae Penne Rigate. In the past six years, we have tried a lot of gluten-free pasta and this one is our favorite. It is chewy and not gummy like some.
Greek Pasta Salad
- I box gluten-free penne 12oz
- 2 small zucchini sliced thin
- 1- pint grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1/2 cup black kalamata olives cut in half
- 1 pkg of tomato basil feta crumbled
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley and/or basil
- For dressing:
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or olive
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp herbs de Provence or oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions and let cool
- Put pasta in a large bowl and add all other ingredients.
- For dressing:
- Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake.
- Pour over pasta salad and toss gently. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.