This is the perfect salad for a BBQ or family gathering, I like to use this as a stand-by at BBQs for my beloved vegetarian friends -- but have also thrown in some chicken and served it as a main dish with hot french bread and garlic sautéed mushrooms, red peppers and onions on the side.
For the dressing
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons dry parsley works fine too)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon basil
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese (grated or powder will work)
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil (I have also used coconut oil, but not recommended unless you prefer the flavor)
- 3 -5 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)
- 3 -5 tablespoons red wine vinegar (also to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts (preferably toasted)
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how much you love garlic!)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
For the pasta
- 2 -3 cups farfalle pasta (or spiral, or other, about 6 ounces)
- 8 cups boiling water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 8 ounces)
- 3⁄4 cup roasted red pepper, sliced in thin 1/2 strips
- 1 English cucumber (sliced at about a 1/4 inch and halved or quartered)
- Boil chosen pasta al dente, drain (stir in some butter or olive oil to keep it loose) and allow pasta to cool.
- Combine all dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until pine nuts have broken down and all ingredients combine (Important! Add/subtract dressing ingredients too taste!).
- Combine cooled pasta, feta, roasted red peppers and cucumbers in a large mixing bowl.
- Gently stir in dressing.
- Chill for around 30 minutes to give flavors a chance to meld.