This is the time of year that farmer’s markets are plentiful around the United States and other areas of the world that are enjoying summertime! If you aren’t in the habit of shopping your farmers market I might say you are missing some of the best summer has to offer. Most generally the vegetables and fruits are picked that day or the day before. FRESH from the garden to your table.
From our local farmer’s market all of these vegetables came in a basket for $20! This is a really good deal because 4 BIG ripe tomatoes came along with them, but somehow I missed getting a picture of them before I cleaned them and I promptly made bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.
For several years I have used Pick Your Own.org website for canning directions and a lot of other information about fruits and vegetables. They also have a tab to Find A Farmer’s Market In Your Area. If you don’t know where to find your local market this is one place to start looking. I don’t think it is an exhaustive list because it doesn’t include the market I shop at although I am going to send them an email to include it!
Getting ready for our first potluck picnic of the summer (late because of our travels) and I had just stopped by the farmer’s market. Looking at all the fresh vegetables I brought home, I knew this pasta salad was in the making.
Here are a couple of reasons why pasta salad is a crowd pleaser:
- Kids and adults like pasta salad!
- A little pasta goes a long way.
- Lasts in the refrigerator easily for a week.
- Pasta salad just “looks” like summer!
When I was at the 4th of July celebration at Hephzibah House my friend Catherine made two huge pasta salads. The celebrating guests ate it up and came back for seconds! I asked her what made her salad so tasty and so popular and she told me she always uses a Greek salad dressing, black olives and feta cheese. Since I love the zestiness of Italian salad dressing on my pasta I decided to combine the two and taste and see the results.
Pasta salad can be made with a variety of pastas but I prefer Farfalle. Commonly known as “bow-tie pasta”, the name comes from the Italian word farfalla. The “e” at the end of the word is the Italian feminine plural ending, making the meaning of the word “butterflies”. Combining Greek and Italian flavors turns this pasta salad into a crowd pleaser. I used large bow tie pasta and mini bow tie pasta and the differing size and texture was nice.
Fresh cucumbers, red pepper, green pepper, orange pepper, fresh garden onions, diced tomatoes, and black olives rounded out the veggies.
We had a few leftovers that my sous chef dish-washing mom, my Chief Pasta Eater and I ate for lunch about a week later. The Chief said, “this salad has really gotten even better with time!”. I agree.
Stay cool this week and make pasta salad! Adding some cooked chicken turns this into a cool summer meal.
Happy Salad Time,
” As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near.”
- 1 box bowtie pasta (16 oz.), cook according to package directions, drain
- 1 box mini bowtie pasta (16 oz.) cook according to package directions, drain
- 16 ounce bottle Italian dressing (your favorite)
- 16 ounce bottle Greek dressing (your favorite)
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 2 cups chopped peppers - can mix up green, red, yellow, orange
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- ½ cup sliced or diced black olives
- ½ cup minced sweet onion, or ½ cup chopped green onion
- ½ to 1 cup feta cheese*
- Cook pasta according to package directions being careful not to OVER cook. It is better to under cook slightly than overcook. Drain and place in a large mixing or serving bowl.
- Chop cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, black olives and onions. Gently mix into pasta.
- Pour ½ bottle of greek dressing and ½ bottle of italian dressing over pasta mixture. Toss to coat all pasta. If pasta seems dry and not coated add more dressing (about ½ of each remaining bottle.) Cover and refrigerate from 2 hours to 24 hours before serving.
- Before serving check pasta for dryness. If salad seems dry add remaining salad dressings.
- Add feta cheese, toss and serve.
- Can be refrigerated up to a week in a sealed bowl.
** Chopped diced chicken can be added to make this into a main dish meal.