Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

Not Your Average Pasta Salad

Not Your Average Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is not your average pasta salad. It’s bold and got some flavor! The vinaigrette is a blend of fresh mint and parsley, red wine vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and a little Fresno chili pepper. These ingredients pierce through the pasta, sweet corn, chickpeas, spinach and feta in the salad like, “gurrl, please.” It is so tasty and will have your guest asking for the recipe between spoonfuls.

This dish is inspired by the farmers market and pantry staples. On my recent trip to the farmers market I bought everything that looked good with no exact plan on what to make with them. This is my favorite way to create new dishes – shop seasonally and be inspired by great products. And, do not worry, I find a way to use every ingredient, #nowaste.

The vinaigrette is a cross between chimichurri and salsa verde, but with a Middle Eastern flare. It can be added to any salad or you can scale back the vinegar and olive oil and it can act as a marinade or a sauce on top of any meat or vegetable. I hope this recipe inspires you to get creative with what you have on hand and create something spectacular!

Not Your Average Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is not your average pasta salad. It's bold and got some flavor! Save this recipe for the vinaigrette, you'll want to use it again!
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: herbs, mint, parsley, pasta salad, salad
Servings: 5

Ingredients

Herby Vinaigrette

  • 1 bunch of parsley with stems (~4 packed cups) (use both leaf and stems, the stems hold a lot of flavor!)
  • 1 packet mint, stems removed (~1 packed cup)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp pomegranate molasses*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Fresno chili, roughly chopped, seeds removed**

Salad

  • 2 cans chickpeas (15.5 ounces/can)
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 ears raw sweet corn, husk and kernels removed
  • 2 cups dry whole wheat penne pasta, or any pasta of your choice
  • 1-2 ounces crumbled feta, amount as desired

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and allow to cool.

Herby Vinaigrette

  • To a food processor or blender, add parsley, mint, red onion, red wine, pomegranate molasses, Fresno chili/red pepper flakes and salt. Pulse a few times until everything is evenly blended and chopped.
  • While running the machine, pour in olive oil slowly. Once the oil emulsifies into the vinaigrette it will slightly thicken.

Salad Assembly

  • Drain and rinse chickpeas.
  • To a large bowl add chickpeas, sweet corn kernels, chopped spinach, cooked pasta. Mix until evenly combined.
  • Add herby vinaigrette to bowl. Mix until vinaigrette is evenly distributed.
  • Crumble feta on top of salad. Toss gently a few times until just combined.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*Pomegranate molasses can be bought in any Middle Eastern grocery store or Amazon. I prefer the Cortas brand . Pomegranate molasses has a tart and subtly sweet flavor. If you are not able to obtain it, you can replace it with honey and lemon. 
**You can replace with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add more or less for desired heat level. 



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