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Greek Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Feta and Roasted Veggies

The first time I made this salad, it was in the middle of August, the hottest time of the year here in Vancouver. I have no idea what prompted me to make this salad and deciding to roast the vegetables in my oven instead of turning on the BBQ.

As my house heated up, roasting veggies in my oven seemed like a really bad idea. I was sweltering from the heat, questioning my sanity. All was good once I took a bite of this pasta salad; then it all seemed worth it.

If you want to make this pasta salad in the summer, I would HIGHLY recommend grilling your vegetables and the shrimp on the BBQ grill. Or even better, grill extra vegetables and shrimp for dinner and use the leftovers in this pasta salad the next day.

I have made this recipe a few times since, and used my oven to roast the vegetables once the weather cooled off. It makes a nice, light, but satisfying meal that doesn't weigh you down. The roasted vegetables really shine through with the simple Dijon vinaigrette. You can substitute chicken in lieu of shrimp but I have to say that shrimp and roasted vegetables are a winning combo!

This pasta salad tastes delicious served either warm or cold. I find that it tastes best if it is allowed to sit for an hour or so for the pasta to absorb the flavors of the vinaigrette. Make sure to keep this salad chilled in the refrigerator.

2 medium zucchinis, sliced into 1/8" rounds, or half moons
1 lb cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

1 lb wheat or gluten-free pasta (rotini, penne, or rotelle pastas all work well)
1 lb shrimp, unshelled and deveined
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 small red onion, finely diced

Dijon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Toss zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers in olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil in the oven on medium for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and slightly charred. (An even better idea is to grill your vegetables on the BBQ, especially in the Summer!)

2. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

3. Pan fry the shrimp in a tablespoon of olive oil until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Set aside. (You can also skewer the shrimp and grill it on the BBQ.)

4. Mix the ingredients for the vinaigrette: rice wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

5. Toss the roasted veggies, pasta, shrimp, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and red onion with the Dijon vinaigrette. Serve warm or cold.

Source: Slightly Adapted from Allrecipes

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