Jay and I enjoy a basic salad every night with dinner. Although what we usually prepare is fantastic, we still like to switch things up every so often. This feta, walnut, and pasta salad is just what we were recently looking for. The mixed salad greens provide nice and vibrant colors that are both a feast for the eyes as well as your tastebuds. The contrast of flavors celebrates the acidity of the dressing and the saltiness of the cheese that is balanced out by the mildness of the pasta.
This flavorfully-rich recipe was inspired by the Pasta & Italian Complete Cooking cookbook. This salad can be enjoyed as a side salad or served as a larger portion for a complete and hearty meal.
For the Salad:
2 Cups Dried Pasta Shells
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Cup Shelled and Halved Walnuts
Mixed Salad Greens, Such as Radicchio, Escarole, Arugla Corn Salad, and Frise
8 Ounces of Crumbled Feta
For the Dressing:
2 Tablespoons of Walnut Oil
4 Tablespoons of Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Preparing the Pasta
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Next, add the pasta shells and olive oil and cook al dente. Drain the pasta and run under cold water. Drain again thoroughly and set aside.
Toast the Walnuts
For toasting the walnuts, spread out onto a cookie sheet and toast under a preheated broiler for two to three minutes. Set them aside to cool and now it’s time to make the dressing.
Make the Dressing
For the dressing, whisk together the walnut oil, olive oil, and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Making the Finishing Touches
For the last step, arrange the salad greens in a large serving bowl. Then pile the cooled pasta in the middle of the greens and sprinkle over the feta cheese. Next, pour the dressing over the pasta salad, scatter the toasted walnuts and mix together. Serve straight away.