Mediterranean Pasta SaladMediterranean Pasta Salad
(This recipe is part of  the “End of Summer Picnic Experience“)

Readjust to Enjoy Life

One of the main reasons I chose to start this blog was to inspire all of us to slow down a bit and enjoy life. You would think that because I write about it, I would have that part of my life together. I can’t even tell you how far from the truth that is. For years now, I have been readjusting this in my life.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Dreams that Inspire

Back probably ten years ago, I had a dream where I was playing with a turtle while I was resting. I knew in the dream that this turtle was my friend. (Stay with me, it’ll make sense.) All of a sudden, I lost my turtle and I was frantically looking to find him. When I woke up, I realized this dream had a significant message for me. “Learning to rest” is essential and “taking it slow” is my friend. Somewhere along the way, I’d lost that perspective on life.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Fundamental Truth – Slowing Down is Essential

Every once in a while I am reminded of that fundamental truth; like the past two mornings. I needed to decompress from a couple of hectic weeks. So I get on my bike, get out in nature, and ride along beautiful trails in the country. All of a sudden, I come across a turtle crossing my path. Two turtles, two mornings, two different paths.

Okay, okay, I get it. I need to slow down!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

So it brings me back to the “End of Summer Picnic Experience.” Check it out, it’s all about slowing down and enjoying life in the moment before the season ends. So I am currently planning a relaxing picnic with my family even as I write this post. And I am including a simple recipe that is easy to prepare – Mediterranean Pasta Salad.

This salad is loaded with flavors and texture. Don’t let the long list of ingredients trip you up. You probably have everything in your pantry and refrigerator. You can pull it together in about 15 or 20 minutes.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad and Toasted Baguette

This is everything you love about Mediterranean food – kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers, fresh oregano and a Greek Vinaigrette. Perfect for a summertime picnic.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

  • 10 oz bow tie pasta, cooked
  • 20-25 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncini, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan

Greek Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Salad:

  • Cook the pasta in 6 quarts of salted boiling water until al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the pasta into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl for mixing.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, cucumber, pepperoncini, feta cheese, and herbs. Drizzle the Greek Vinaigrette over the salad and gently coat all the ingredients. Sprinkle the pine nuts along with the parmesan cheese on top.

For the Vinaigrette:

  • In a small bowl combine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard and red onion. Whisk in the olive oil by a slow and steady pour. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper. This vinaigrette will store up to three days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 258
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 402 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 12 mg