Greek Pasta Salad

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The bro tanks were out in full force this weekend in Corvallis. It seemed like every inch of grass was occupied with girls (and some guys) tanning, college kids channeling their inner child by utilizing their slip-n-slide and guys throwing footballs and frisbees in the park. The SPF was being liberally applied and everyone was craving something that would help them cool down. Naturally, this nice weather inspired me to get into the kitchen and make something fresh and summery. I decided to go with this Greek Pasta Salad from a great blog called My Baking Addiction. You can’t go wrong with feta, pepperoni and cucumbers. I think the versatility of this salad is what I love most because it seems like you can add almost anything and it would still be delicious – perhaps baby corn, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, salami, etc. My friend Jeanna and I decided it was a refreshing warm weather dinner after a long day of takin’ in some rays.

 

 

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FOR THE DRESSING

3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons basil dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

FOR THE SALAD

1 pound rotini pasta cooked according to package directions
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (you can also sub in grape tomatoes or a tomato from your garden!)
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Kalamata olives (or black olives)
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 7-ounce pepperoni stick, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a a large Mason jar or other sealable container, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, black pepper, and sugar. Shake well to combine.

2. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, green onions, olives, feta cheese and pepperoni.

3. Separate and reserve ½ cup of dressing in the refrigerator.

4. Toss the pasta salad with the rest of the dressing until evenly coated. Cover, and chill overnight (not a NECESSITY, but adds flavor).

5. Right before serving, freshen the salad with the reserved dressing, tossing to coat.

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