Hey, I wanted to post a recipe that I adapted from my sister that she adapted from her friend Michelle. (Same friend who told her about The Grocery Game that she then told me about. We obviously have a good thing going here, this chain.)
I took this out to my parents' today. It's in our regular rotation of food around here during the summer. The "base" ingredients are as follows:
- one box cooked pasta (I use the Barilla tri-color rotini . . . it is heavy enough to stand up to all that you dump on it, yummy and chewy, and the colors make it cheerful and pretty)(I bet penne pasta would work well, also)
- pine nuts (I just sprinkle in a scant handful or so)
- crumbled feta cheese (I think I usually dump in about half a little tub . . . do it to taste)
- Italian (or other oil/vinegar based) salad dressing (I use Bernstein's . . . one of the cheese/Italian blends like Cheese Fantastico or Three Cheese or whatever it's called)
Just stir all this together in a big bowl. (Actually, hold off on the salad dressing until last, to see how much you'll need.) Then, you can add variables. Lately, I've added cooked chicken (either torn off a deli chicken from the grocery store, or just cubed, cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts) and a can of drained artichoke hearts. (I either buy the baby ones or cut the big ones into bite-sized pieces.)
You can eat this warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
When my sister fixed this for me, she served it as a side salad, so she added a can of corn and some cooked broccoli tops to the base ingredients. When her friend fixed it for her, she used crumbled bacon and some other veggies . . . tomato and corn, I think.
To me, the feta cheese says "mediterranean," so I've thought that it would also be good with a side of oiled, warm pita bread, and maybe some olives thrown in. (I'm the only olive-lover around here, however, so haven't tried this yet.)
I like these kinds of recipes because they're so "loose" and I can remember in my head what to get at the store.
Tip: The flavor all pretty much comes from the salad dressing (and feta cheese), so get good-quality salad dressing, and put it on last . . . enough to coat but not drown everything.