We just got back from a Birthday Party and had this great tasting salad that I had to share! It is a light cold salad that is perfect for a bbq or party. It is very easy – just six basic ingredients – spinach, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, bow tie pasta, italian dressing, and pine nuts. The kids really like it and it gets them to eat spinach. Just beware to go light on the dressing or the kids will complain (at least mine do). You can even turn this into a week night dinner by adding some chicken to it!
- 1 pound bow tie pasta (farfalle)
- 4 oz Pine Nuts
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (grape tomatoes)
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Bag of Spinach or 10 oz – cleaned and chopped
- 8-10 Basil leaves (chopped up) optional
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Light Italian Dressing start out with a little and taste it – add more if needed. You can also mix white balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make a light dressing
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; Drain the pasta and run it under cold water just until it stops steaming. Try to get rid of as much water as you can when you strain it.
Put the paste in a large serving bowl. Toss pasta with spinach, feta, onion, pine nuts, and tomato. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator. Add the dressing once you serve the dish. Also, you can make the salad up to about 1 hour before you serve it.
There are so many variations you can make of this salad. I have seen it with salmon added in, red onion, peppers, olives, and cucumbers. Also, I saw a few suggestions on other recipe sites for these substitutes. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand diced tomatoes also work. Adding a tablespoons of dried oregano and/or dried basil adds a little flavor.