Summery Side Dish Salads

Greek-Style Pasta Salad

Makes 8-10 servings


1 pound pasta, such as rotini
Salt for boiling water
16 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1 large English cucumber, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1 green pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (oil pack), finely chopped
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 cups arugula

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Wash the vegetables, pat dry. Cut the tomatoes and olives into halves, and the cucumber, green pepper, onion into a fine dice. Mince the parsley. Place all in a large bowl.
  2. Drain the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes well, chop finely, add to the chopped vegetables. Crumble the feta cheese and set aside in a separate bowl. Wash the arugula, remove any large stems, also set aside in a separate bowl.
  3. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in deep measuring cup or bowl. Whisk vigorously until well-combined.
  4. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large sauce pot. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water, then add the pasta. Boil the pasta until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta well using a colander; transfer to a large bowl. While still warm, toss the pasta with the dressing. The warm pasta will absorb the wonderful dressing flavors. Allow the dressed pasta to cool. Cooled pasta is important for the next step.
  5. Add the prepared vegetables (tomatoes, olives, cucumber, green pepper, red onion, parsley), the sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and arugula to the cooled pasta. Toss to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Summer Farro Salad

Serves 4 to 6

2 ears corn
1-1/2 cups pearled farro
3 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 16-ounce can chickpeas
1 medium carrot
4 scallions
8 ounces grape tomatoes
2 cups baby kale
1 English cucumber
2 avocados, diced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Grill the ears of corn for 12 minutes total, 3 minutes per side. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In a medium pan, bring vegetable broth and salt to a boil. Add farro, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the farro for 20 minutes or until the grains are tender, but not mushy. Drain any excess liquid.
  3. While the farro cooks, mix the dressing ingredients together in a blender or by whisking vigorously. Pour the dressing over the hot, cooked farro. Set aside, and allow the farro to cool before adding the remainder of the ingredients.
  4. Prepare the remaining vegetables: drain and rinse the chickpeas; peel and grate the carrot; wash and thinly slice the scallions; halve the grape tomatoes; tear the baby kale into small pieces; dice the cucumber and the avocados; and chop the fresh basil.
  5. Add the vegetables and the crumbled feta cheese to the cooked farro, and toss to combine evenly.

Grilled Corn and Quinoa Summer Salad

Serves 8-10

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ears of fresh corn
1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes, quartered
8 large basil leaves, chiffonade
1 medium shallot, finely minced
4 ounces Cotija (or feta) cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 olive oil
2 tablespoons stone-ground Dijon mustard
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon, (about 3-4 tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the quinoa by cooking in a small saucepan. Combine 1 cup of grain with 2 cups of salted water. Cover, bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, but keep the pan on the burner. Allow the grain to sit, until all the water is absorbed, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare the corn by husking and removing the corn silk. Brush each ear with olive oil and grill over direct, medium heat turning every 2 minutes until all sides are grilled. (Alternatively, the corn may be steamed, boiled, or microwaved). Remove the kernels from the cob.
  3. Combine the quinoa, corn kernels, tomatoes, basil, shallot, and crumbled cheese in a large bowl and toss.
  4. Make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients and whisking vigorously.
  5. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and corn, and toss well to combine. Refrigerate, for at least an hour, to allow the salad to rest and the flavors to blend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *