Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mediterranean Summer Salad

Soooo... it's almost summer. How exciting!

Then I realize I haven't set foot in the apartment complex gym in, oh say, four months or so. And I've all but forgotten Gabe and my after-dinner walks since he started going back to school in August. And I've started this cooking blog in which I required, yes required, to find, cook/bake, and try many new recipes (some healthful, some... not so healthful, we'll just say). Suddenly, the prospect of summer, the sun, and the beach seems a little less appealing. Crap.

S as a result, I've recently embarked on a new culinary journey - one that involves a little less sugar, butter, and cream (Paula Deen would be so disappointed in me) and a little more on the fresh vegetables, fruits and lighter fare.

This dish was inspired by a recent one I had at Noodles, a Royal Oak restaurant we sometimes hit up for lunch. Not sure if they're national or not, but in case you haven't guessed it, pretty much everything they serve has some type of noodle in it and crosses a variety of ethnic cuisines. I usually head for the Asian section (Oh how I love you, Japanese Pan Noodles), but I opted for something new this time. Pasta Fresca (from the Mediterranean section) boasts sauteed fresh veggies and penne noodles in a light vinaigrette of some sort. Served with chicken and sprinkled with feta cheese, I don't feel at all guilty about eating the dish. So thought I would give it a shot on my own too.

Also, I killed two birds with one stone, since I had zucchini and yellow squash that definitely needed to be used up. Hate, hate, hate, hate wasting food. So success! And summer... here I come!

1 c. pasta (I used farfalle)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
splash of white wine

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, garlic powder, dried rosemary, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt, and pepper. Whisk briskly to fully incorporate. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, zucchini, and squash. Sauté until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato, pasta, and splash of white wine. Pour vinaigrette over salad and stir to combine. Continue cooking for additional 2-4 minutes, or until all is heated through. Spoon into bowls using slotted spoon, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


  1. This looks so good to me! You're right, it's a perfect spring/summer meal! And I love all of the colors.

  2. it looks delicious!I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.