I am a dedicated summer BBQ-er, and a fierce partisan of charcoal barbequing, the techniques and recipes of which I will return to in future posts. But today's post is for a crowd pleasing side salad that is both easy to make and will compliment BBQ backyard parties, propane or charcoal, or summer trips to the park for an afternoon picnic.
In fact, it is good enough that it can be served year round and makes an excellent main dish served with a nice crusty baguette.
Mediterranean "Taverna" Pasta Salad
1 block Feta Cheese, cubed
1 1/2- 2 cups Black Olives
1 1/2- 2 cups Green Olives
1-2 pints Grape Tomatoes
Chopped Fresh Parsley
For the Dressing:
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 minced cloves of garlic
1-3 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce (do not leave out)
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon crushed anise seed
The Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Cook the pasta to al dente and rinse. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Add feta cheese, olives and tomatoes and stir together. Fresh, unpitted olives greatly enhance this salad, but if not use jarred olives as opposed to canned, which never taste right.
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir together until thoroughly blended. Pour into salad combining everything as you do.
Finally, add the chopped parsley.
Taverna salad is also terrific prepared ahead and refrigerated overnight. Portions can, of course, be adjusted according to the size of your gathering.