It was about a year ago around this time when I really started digging into cooking and baking. I had a lot of time on my hands and I started trying lots of new recipes with new techniques. Instead of sticking with what I knew, I attempted recipes that really scared me! I learned so much from the cookbooks I have and from tons of amazing food bloggers. The wealth of information about cooking online is so helpful!
One of my favorite things about this time was learning how to develop recipes of my own. I didn’t really know it at the time – but by learning how and why we do the things we do while cooking, I was able to start coming up with my own ideas of foods to put together. I loved the beginning stages of learning it because I felt like I gained so much ownership and confidence in my kitchen. I could tweak recipes without fear, because I knew the principles of cooking, I knew my tweaks would probably work. And when I wanted to try to make something completely new, I knew the basics that would help my recipe be successful.
Recipes like this Fresh Summer Greek Pasta Salad were the type of recipes I first began feeling comfortable throwing together. I started with simple ingredients I knew go together well, because I had seen them in so many variations in other dishes. Then, I added a simple olive oil dressing based on what I know about dressing (after making many, many dressings over time). So yes, simple recipe, simple ingredients. But having the confidence to put together ingredients and drizzling a little of this, a little of that, is so fun!
I love a good pasta salad. I’ve been all about Greek ingredients lately so putting this salad together was easy. You’ve got your red onions, your kalamata olives (hello!!), your cucumbers, your cherry tomatoes, and your feta (YES). The dressing you’ll just drizzle right on the salad – less dirty dishes is obviously a yay!! The dressing is crazy simple: olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, which means you can customize to your hearts desire! Some prefer more olive oil on it and some might want to experiment with some other herbs!
I made this with a whole wheat rotini, but you could easily make this with a gluten-free pasta, like a rice pasta, to make it 100% gluten-free!
Enjoy this yummy pasta salad! There’s nothing like a cool, easy meal during the summer heat!
- 8 oz. whole wheat rotini pasta
- ½ cucumber, diced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup kalamata olives, halved
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- A dash of salt and pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions and rinse under cold water in a colander until cool when finished. Put into a large salad bowl.
- Add the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, feta, and onion. Stir together until well combined.
- Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad. Add the salt and pepper and stir together. Add more of anything to taste! Store in fridge for up to 3 days.
Make vegan: Leave off the feta cheese.
Make dairy-free: Leave off the feta cheese.
If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!
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