Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Roasted Garlic and Balsamic Vinaigrette Monday, June 9, 2008

Ingredients

Monty R. Lowans II, Executive Chef, University of Tennessee Medical Center

1 pound dry whole-wheat pasta
1 cup sliced ripe black olives
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2-cup broccoli florets, small
1/2 green pepper, julienne
1/2 red pepper, julienne
1/2 yellow pepper, julienne
1/2 red onion, julienne
3 green onions cut on the bias, thin
1-cup fat free feta cheese

Vinaigrette:
2 cups olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
2 TBSP fresh minced parsley
2 TBSP fresh minced oregano
2 TBSP fresh minced basil
2 TBSP fresh minced thyme
1 TBSP honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook pasta according to package, drain and run under cool water until no longer hot, allow to drain completely. In a mixing bowl add balsamic, garlic, honey and herbs. Let set for a minute to allow ingredients to bloom. Incorporate oil slowly, mixing with a wire whisk. Hold for later use. If you like you vinaigrette thicker, do all of the above in a blender or food processor.

Combine pasta, olives, tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta in a large bowl add vinaigrette a small amount at a time (1/4 cup) until you get the desired taste. Some will like more than others.

The Vinaigrette is also a great marinade for chicken, beef, pork and fish. Be careful when marinating fish or seafood, as the vinegar in the vinaigrette will cook the fish. I recommend no more than an hour for fish or seafood and 2-4 hours for the other meats.

Vinaigrette yields about 3 ½ cups.

Serves 4-6
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