Quick Dinner Alert!
I got home from work the other night with no clue what to make for dinner and not a lot of energy. Looking around my kitchen for inspiration, I settled on a bunch of fresh basil and big container of grape tomatoes from Costco, which were a day or two away from being too soft to eat.
I threw together this quick and easy Mediterranean Pasta Salad using mostly staple ingredients, and served it with grilled chicken marinated in a parsley vinaigrette (recipe below), and blueberries, which Maddie can’t get enough of lately. Dinner was ready in about 30 minutes.
If you’re on a low carb kick, leave out the pasta, and serve this dish over grilled chicken or fish. Yum!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad:
Ingredients: I’m including rough quantities, but really, there’s no right or wrong. Just use as much as you’d like:
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 2 bulbs of garlic
- Kalamata olives, sliced (I used ten)
- Artichoke hearts (canned or jarred), quartered (I used six)
- Chopped fresh basil, about ten leaves
- 1/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 lb short pasta
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley Vinaigrette*
*Parsley Vinaigrette: blend the following ingredients in a food processor until smooth:
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons- zest and juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and put a large pot of water on to boil for your pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
In a baking pan, toss your tomatoes and garlic bulbs (sliced width-wise) in just enough olive oil to coat, salt and pepper. Turn your garlic cut side down (not cut-side up like it is in the picture below), and put them in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes. Don’t bother waiting for your oven to come to temperature. Just throw them in there when you’re ready.
Meanwhile, chop all your ingredients, and make your Parsley Vinaigrette. Put it in a large bowl.
Add all your ingredients to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Be sure to get all the oil and juices in the pan from your tomatoes. To get the garlic cloves out of the bulb, just lightly squeeze it, and they should come out easily, or you can pick them out with a fork.
Toss all the ingredients together, and voila!
I served the pasta with grilled chicken marinated in the Parsley Vinaigrette and blueberries. It was a big hit with Stan and Maddie (15 months old). Here is Maddie’s plate and some fun pictures of her enjoying dinner:
From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy. Please let me know how it goes if you do!