Friday, April 06, 2007

Just a simple pasta salad...

Well, I may have gone a touch heavy on pasta recipes this week - but, it seems we have a never-ending supply (darn sales!) sitting in the pantry. We hope to do some hiking and exploring in local parks this year when the weather starts to warm up, so I've been keeping my eye out for recipes that we could bring along to snack on or for a picnic.

We tried out another one of those kind of recipes tonight with a dish for Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese. With just a few simple ingredients, this dish can be made ahead of time and should be good to leave out for awhile, if needed, as it is not dressed in a mayo base. Coating the twisted nutty pasta is a light and delicate dressing made from walnut oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic and a touch of Dijon mustard to hold it together. Tossed with the salad are chunks of salty feta cheese and tender baby spinach leaves for color with a bite coming from diced red onion. Rounding out the dish is a generous handful of toasted chopped walnuts to give the salad a bit of richness and crunch. Be sure to taste it before you add the salt and pepper as we didn't need to season it with much since it was pretty flavorful by itself. If you wanted to bulk the dish up with a bit more protein, I'm betting (and will be doing!) that some grilled and sliced coins of chicken sausage would be an excellent addition!

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