A feel-good Mediterranean salad
By Elaine Magee
By Elaine Magee
Q. I had the most interesting pasta salad at a Mediterranean deli with bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and capers, but it was dripping in oil — too rich for my wife and me. Can you conjure up a light rendition please?
A. I love the sound of this pasta salad — so many flavorful and colorful Mediterranean ingredients. I believe in using whole grains every chance I get, so the base of this pasta salad will be a whole wheat or whole grain blend type of pasta. There are some great pasta products out there now so you'll probably have no problem finding a brand that you like.
To keep this pasta salad light, I used a light balsamic vinaigrette, with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil per serving. This gave the salad just enough oil to flavor and coat the ingredients but not too much to feel heavy. A splash of balsamic and champagne vinegar makes up the rest of the dressing and some fresh basil and parsley add flavor and color.
The same size serving (1 1/2 cups) of mayonnaise-dressed pasta salad contains around 650 calories, 38 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat and 34 mg cholesterol.
LIGHT MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD
For the dressing:
For the garnish (optional):
In large serving bowl, combine salad ingredients (pasta, bell peppers, red onion, sun-dried tomato, artichoke hearts, olives and capers). In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients with whisk.
Drizzle dressing over the pasta salad and toss to blend. Serve immediately or keep covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
For an optional garnish, in a small food processor, combine a tablespoon of chopped sun-dried tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Garnish each serving with a small dollop if desired.
Makes 4 servings.