My plan was to make two salads tonight to help us with lunches and dinners through the week. Paired with a chicken, cucumber and cheese wrap, the salads were great summertime fare.
The Greek quinoa salad was another find from Two Peas and Their Pod. I really love their blog and all of the delicious recipes they share. They continue to provide inspiration for great food and yummy cookies.
Greek Quinoa Salad
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
Pinch of salt
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool quinoa cool to room temperature.In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, and feta cheese.To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano in a small bowl. Pour dressing over the salad and stir until mixed well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
The antipasto pasta salad was a big hit! It makes a really large amount and it seems like the type of dish that just gets better the longer the flavors marinade together.
(I found it at epicurious.com and it had a reference from Gourmet magazine.)
Antipasto Pasta Salad
1 pound rotini or fusilli (corkscrew-shaped pastas)
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 ounce (1/2 cup) sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained well
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
a 1-pound can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 1/2 ounces sliced hard salami, cut into julienne strips
10 to 20 bottled small peperoncini (pickled Tuscan peppers)
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves, minced
In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the rotini until it is tender and drain it. Refresh the pasta under cold water and drain it well.
In a blender blend the garlic, the mustard, the vinegars, the water, the oil, and salt to taste until the dressing is emulsified.
In a very large bowl toss the pasta well with the dressing and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, the mozzarella, the garbanzos, the salami, the Tuscan peppers, the red pepper flakes, and the parsley.
Chill the salad, covered, for 1 hour. The salad may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.