Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Prepared Mediterranean Pasta Salad served in a clear bowl on a wooden tray.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

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Go ahead and skip the mayo with this Mediterranean Pasta Salad that is bright and briny with a wonderful array of ingredients. The zesty dressing made with Dijon and fresh herbs is a burst of flavour that takes this salad to the next level. Olives and pancetta add a nice texture and brininess to the pasta, while the spinach, cherry tomatoes and red onion keep it light and fresh. Mediterranean Pasta Salad is great for picnics, potlucks, backyard BBQ parties and your July long weekend. This salad holds up wonderfully the day it is made so there’s no fear of a soggy salad. The pasta and pancetta can be cooked up to two days ahead so tossing this salad together at the last minute is a cinch. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Mediterranean Pasta Salad arranged on a wodden tray.

This recipe was one of the first posted to my blog back in 2016 and I forgot how delicious it is. I felt it deserved a little revival just in time to enjoy for summer.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces gemelli or fusilli pasta
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil see note
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano see note
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley see note
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced and roughly chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until pasta is cool. Drain well and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and fat has been rendered, about 5-7 minutes. Drain well on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, oregano, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Toss together pasta, pancetta, spinach, cherry tomatoes, black olives, red onion, parmesan cheese and dressing until combined. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Notes

-fresh herbs are lovely in this recipe, however, if you need to use dry herbs use 1/3 of the amount stated for fresh.
-this salad is best served the day it is made but leftovers will keep for 2 days covered in the refrigerator.

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Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad

Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad

Picnic and BBQ season is almost upon us. Don’t bring just any ordinary potato salad to the party! Show up with creamy Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad instead. Cool, crisp fennel meets up with plump little shrimp in a creamy dressing that’s freshened up with fennel fronds. Familiar yet deliciously different is why Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad will become your new picnic favourite.

What’s potato salad to you? For me it’s a combination of summers at the lake and my mother. We only ate potato salad during the warmer summer months and my mother always made a deliciously creamy potato salad. It was on the traditional side, with eggs, celery, radish, mustard, mayo and maybe a little pickle juice. If I had it today, it would taste like a memory from my teenage years and fun at the lake. Who knew a bowl of potato salad could mean so much!

Skipping forward a couple decades, I still love a traditional potato salad, but here I wanted to keep the same creaminess but sub in cool and crisp fennel and meaty little shrimp for a lovely riff on a childhood favourite. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad:  Compelled To Cook

 

Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 25 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 25 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
    Fennel and Shrimp Potato Salad
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 25 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 25 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      10-12 minutes 1 1/2 hours
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with 1" of salted water. Simmer until potatoes are just tender, approximately 10-12 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch. Drain well and chill potatoes until completely cold.
      2. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, white wine vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
      3. Trim bottom off of fennel bulb and pluck off fronds. Cut bulb in half, removing outer layer if needed to clean it up. Cut each half in half again and thinly slice each quarter including stems until you have approximately 1 1/2 cups. Save a few fronds for garnish and coarsely chop remainder.
      4. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and combine with potatoes, sliced fennel, fennel fronds and green onions. Add dressing and toss to combine. Chill for at least an hour and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.
      Recipe Notes

      Makes a generous 4 cups of salad.