Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Green Olivada

We have had such a cold summer, it is no surprise that we still don’t have ripe cherry tomatoes in our garden.  Maybe in the next couple of days – with our temperature finally in the 90s.  Usually I wait all summer for those babies to be ripe, and I hold off on all my good tomato dishes.  This year – I figured I would be waiting forever, so I actually had to buy some at the store just to make this recipe I found in Bon Appetit.  It looked so good, I couldn’t wait. 

 The olives gave this pasta salad so much flavor, and the fresh mozzarella and tomatoes were like icing on the top.  The colors were beautiful, and it make a perfect side dish with our burgers and dogs.  I can’t wait until our cherry tomatoes are ripe in the garden, so I can make this again.


  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pitted green olives (from about 6 ounces unpitted whole olives), divided
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound gemelli, fusilli, or rotelle pasta
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 8-ounce package small (cherry-size) fresh mozzarella balls in water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Ingredient Tip

Fresh mozzarella balls packed in water are available at many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.


With machine running, add garlic clove to processor through feed tube and process until finely chopped; turn off machine. Add 1 cup chopped olives, capers, red wine vinegar, anchovy paste, mustard, and crushed red pepper. Using 6 on/off turns, process to chop coarsely. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil, forming coarse puree. Transfer to bowl; stir in remaining 1 cup olives. Season olivada to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Olivada can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Transfer drained pasta to large bowl. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over pasta; toss to coat. Cool, stirring occasionally.

Add olivada, halved tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano to pasta; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Green Olivada

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Lemony Orzo – Veggie Salad with Chicken

One of my favorite summertime dishes is to make an orzo salad with chicken mixed in.  Add a little dill and a lemon vinaigrette, and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal, especially when it is hot outside.  I usually make a big batch of it and bring it to our community swimming pool for Sunday night dinner.  It is my hope that someday even the kids will go nuts over it.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and it looked just like the version I make (sans the recipe).  I decided to give it a try to see how it compared.  I have to wonder if somehow there was a secret camera hidden in my kitchen that watched me make this – it was just like my own rendition.  It was so delicious and light, you just couldn’t help but have seconds and thirds.  The kids didn’t know what they were missing, but had they known, there wouldn’t have been as much for the adults…I guess when they are finally able to appreciate this pasta salad, I will have to double the recipe.


  • 3/4  cup  uncooked orzo
  • 1/4  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
  • 3  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1/4  teaspoon  honey
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  cup  shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/2  cup  diced English cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  prechopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese


Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain and place in a large bowl.

While orzo cooks, combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over orzo; toss to coat. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients (through dill); toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Lemony Orzo – Vege Salad with Chicken

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine