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Greek Pasta Salad

Caprese Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

This pasta salad war originally a caprese pasta salad with mozzarella, but I really don’t like to bite into chunks of mozzarella cheese. So I changed it up a little and replaced the mozzarella with a delicious feta cheese which I love. The dressing for the pasta salad is a wonderful blend of garlic infused olive oil, balsamic vinegar with a background of fresh basil, really flavorful. I hope you enjoy this easy to make and very delicious pasta salad.

Pasta Salad (8-10 servings)

Ingredients:

12 oz. of your favorite pasta, cooked

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 oz. feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse, set aside. In a small skillet combine olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes (optional) over low heat. Warm oil slowly to allow flavors to infuse, 5-10 minutes. Do not let the garlic take on color. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place pasta in a bowl. Add olive oil mixture, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and basil, toss to combine. Add feta cheese, toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats

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Greek Tzatziki Sauce

I have been eyeballing the Greek Tzatziki sauce for quite some time now. Does yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill not sound perfectly delicious to you? or does it sound a bit foreign and odd? Well I assure you that it’s a wonderful creation! If you decide to make this sauce I would recommend that you make it one day before you intend to use it. Place it in the refrigerator overnight to really allow the flavors to develop. Also, make sure to use a plain Greek yogurt which has a thicker consistency. If you decide to use regular yogurt, you’ll need to let the liquid drain from the yogurt for 2 hours before using, to get the thicker consistency.

Making Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki sauce of course goes perfectly with the Greek Gyro sandwich. The first time I tasted a Gyro was actually in Denmark when I was a teenager and it left a big impression on me because it was super delicious….nothing like I had ever tasted before. Since then I’ve had Gyro’s from time to time, some better than others, and I finally decided to make the Tzatziki sauce myself. This recipe is truly wonderful, even my husband who does not eat yogurt or cucumber, really liked it – imagine that! Some other uses for the Tzatziki sauce could be served with Pita wedges as an appetizer, goes well with lamb, fish, chicken, veggies and falafel. I hope you enjoy this sauce as much as we have 🙂

Greek Gyro

Ingredients:

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 english cucumber, seeded

1 teaspoon salt, to draw out liquid in cucumber

1 lb Greek yogurt, plain (1 1/2 cup or 450 grams)

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tablespoon dill, chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Gyro:

chicken, cut into bite-size pieces and cooked to your liking

onion, slice and cook until soft and sweet

Pita bread

lettuce

tomatoes

kalamate olives

feta cheese

Tzatziki Sauce

Directions:

To make Tzatziki Sauce: Peel cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds using a spoon. Chop or shred cucumber and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt to draw out the liquid. Place cucumber in a sieve to drain for at least 1/2 hour. In a small bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Once the cucumber has finished draining, add it to the yogurt mixture and give it a quick spin in the blender until you have your desired consistency. Place in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before serving to allow flavors to develop, or even better, leave it refrigerated overnight.

To assemble Gyro: Wrap gyro in aluminum foil and heat in toaster oven for a few minutes until warm. Add the warm chicken and onions. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce. Wrap loosely in foil to hold Gyro together and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

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