Pasta salads are a summer staple and when they are packed with the flavors of Greece and graced with chunks of tender sautéed salmon, you know you are in for a treat. A tangy, creamy dressing gives it extra oomph and fresh tomato and herbs keep it grounded.
I would have added cucumbers to this salad, but I didn't have any ready for harvesting just then. But if you happen to have a cucumber on hand, slice or chop it and toss some into this salad - you'll love the crunch! You could easily make this a meal on its own for lunch - it could even be tucked into pita pockets if you'd like.
But my favorite way to enjoy it is as a side dish alongside grilled pork, chicken, or seafood. Before you know it, the weather will cool as school starts back up and summer meals will give way to the first fall dinners. But for now, embrace those pasta salads and enjoy them while you can.
- 8 oz. orzo pasta (or other small pasta)
- 1 T. cooking fat - I used bacon fat
- 1 (6 oz.) boneless, skinless salmon fillet
- ½ tsp. seasoning salt
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 2 T. mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 3 oz. kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 T. chopped garlic scape or green onions
- 2 T. chopped flat leaf parsley
Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. When al dente, rinse, drain, and place in a large serving bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the cooking fat of your choice until sizzling. Add the salmon and sauté lightly on both sides until cooked to your tastes. Season with the seasoning salt before and after turning the fillet. Tear the cooked fish into bite-sized pieces and add to the pasta in the serving bowl.
Combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, and feta cheese in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning before adding the dressing to the serving bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients (olives through flat leaf parsley) to the serving bowl and toss well to mix. Chill until ready to serve.
- Yields: 4-6 servings
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes