15 September 2011
The grocery had these gorgeous olives available today. They are locally produced, extra large and glossy deep purple. And the taste is salty brine mixed with an almost floral quality. So, of course, I scooped up a bunch and, inspired, made a fresh pasta salad at home. This version is made in my favorite way-- heavy on the veggies and light on the noodles.
Olive Pasta Salad.
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups of whole extra large olives
1 jar of artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 cup of purple-leafed basil, torn
3 cups of cooked pasta, shape of your choice, cooked al dente*
Pit and roughly chop the olives. In a large bowl, add the lemon zest, olives, artichoke hearts, green onions and pasta. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper and start with about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Mix well and pour half over the pasta/veggie mix. Stir to coat and continue to add the remaining dressing to your taste preferences. Season again with salt and pepper as needed. Add basil and toss. Chill before serving.
* Cook the pasta while assembling the rest of the salad so that you may pour the dressing over the warm pasta. The flavors will combine better, soaking into the noodles, using this method.