The world could use more picnics.
Picnics are the kind of things that we all wish we could have more of, but we never pursue. People think, at the end of a long day, who wants to go get all the stuff to craft a picnic. I personally am a huge believer in picnics. And it does not have to be complicated to have a picnic. Wine and cheese can always suffice as a picnic.
The key is wine is the more important of the two.
Anyway, this dish came about because I was thinking about food I could prep quickly for a picnic and that would last. Don’t you just hate whn you pack a sandwich (cough peanut butter and jelly cough) and the middle is SO soggy? It is the absolute worst! Because of the season and what have you, my mind instantly went to For whatever reason, I begin to think of pasta salad around this time of year. My aunts and uncles all used to com to the beach this time of year, so we needed a lot of quick and simple dishes in our repitoire. We used to make it often throughout the summer, when the days stretched long and dinner just needed to be quick, simple, and easy!
It was a gorgeous sunny day today, the kind that make you feel like summer is here. Because it is. There was no spring in DC and many tell me there usually never is. The temperature went from 60 to 90 almost instantly. For me, the warm weather means way less time in the kitchen and way more time outside…or at least that’s the way I dream of it being. In reality, more likely it means me sitting in the window with the most vibrant sun shining through while typing away on the computer. Hey, but at least it’s a very big window…with incredible views…got to do what you got to do!
Anyway, this pasta salad is a mix of all the flavors I am loving right now. Fresh oregano, basil, dill, plenty of veggies, and the most delicious marinated feta. I highly URGE you to make extra of this feta because it is insanely good. I’ve been spreading it on toast as a kind of appetizer, pre-dinner snack situation. But I could also just eat it straight off of the spoon.
Call me crazy, but it is just that good.
The major bonus here is that this could not be easier to put together. Boil up some pasta, drain, and add all the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the hot pasta. It’s important to toss everything together while the pasta is still warm so you can really activate the flavors of the fresh herbs.
Every time I think of the words activiate herbs, images from the Justice League TV show comes into my head. Anyone else??
ANNNDDD just in case you were wondering, the leftovers just get better, making this one of those dinners to make on Sunday and eat for lunch throughout the week. And those are the kinds of dinners I love. I already spend enough time in the kitchen as it is, what with the spontaneous banana bread making and all that goes down on th daily.
All that and more from Cocina de Cuttng Veg. Seriously? Cool. Cool.
Yields 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entree
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- salt + pepper
- 1/2 lb pasta (I like rotini pasta!)
- 1-2 zucchini, spiralized
- 8 ounces baby arugula
- 2-3 roasted red peppers (out of a jar), drained, patted dry, and cut into strips
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
In a bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, oregano, dill, and crushed red pepper flake. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grate in one clove of garlic. Crumble in 4 ounces of feta, stir, and place in the fridge. This can be done ahead of time as set aside in the fridge.
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package direction until th pasta is al dente. Place the baby arugula in a large bowl Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain and place on top of the arugula and zucchini noodles. Drizzle lighly with olive oil and cover with foll. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the arugula wilts. You can always give the pasta a good stir if the arugula fails to wilt.
Toss the pasta with the marinated feta and roasted red pepper. Season with salt and pepper, if you wish. Top with toasted sunflower seeds. EAT
Someone make me a sign with that on it asap!