A quick to cook, delicious Mediterranean pasta salad with feta, lemons and kalamata olives that packs a lot of interesting flavours into each bite. From the peppery taste of fresh Rocket to the salty appeal of Kalamata olives, preserved lemons, and Feta cheese, there is nothing bland or boring about this dish.
Its strong flavours aren’t overwhelming because they are tempered by the addition of penne pasta and fresh herbs. This robust salad has enough presence to serve as a light, yet satisfying main course – or it can act as the perfect complement to more neutral dishes, like grilled chicken breast or a mild white fish.
NOTE: You can use fresh or preserved lemons to make this recipe, but preserved lemons will add a more intense flavour. You can either buy a container of preserved lemons or make your own with Himalayan salt blocks. If using preserved lemons, taste before adding additional salt.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (includes time to cook pasta)
¾ of a cup of extra virgin olive oil.
¼ of a cup of white balsamic vinegar.
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
1 16-oz. box penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and cooled
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
3 cloves of garlic, minced.
2 medium tomatoes, chopped.
12-15 large fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips.
2 teaspoons of fresh oregano leaves.
½ a cup of Kalamata olives, roughly chopped.
¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced.
½ a cup of fresh or preserved organic lemon, chopped into small chunks with rinds.
2 cups of fresh rocket (arugula).
2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated.
3 oz. block of Feta cheese, cut into equal-sized chunks.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard together in a small bowl until blended smooth. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and then put to one side.
- Add olive oil and garlic to a cold pan and set heat to medium high. Sauté for approximately 1 minute before adding chopped tomato. Cook for 3 minutes or until the tomato softens. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the warm tomato and garlic mixture with the basil, oregano, olives, red onion and preserved lemons. Add the cooked pasta, rocket/arugula and both types of cheese.
- Add the vinaigrette and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Toss to combine, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!