Pasta salad isn't a particularly sexy concept, more a staple of potlucks than gourmet fare. But a good pasta salad, that's something to have tucked into your back pocket for impromptu summer gatherings. I encountered this pasta salad at a pool party, in a potluck setting, but I turned around and made a batch two days later, the intriguing addition of mint having captivated my palate.
This is a great dish to bring to a gathering or keep on hand for a quick lunch or light supper. It's not at all "minty," but robustly flavored. In short, it's a keeper.
Pasta Salad with Feta and Mint
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
2 2/3 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1 15-16 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Additional chopped fresh mint
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, but still firm to the bite. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again.
2. Combine 1/3 cup mint, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and lemon zest in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Add pasta, tomoatoes, garbanzo beans and feta cheese; toss to blend well. Season with salt and pepper.
Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before serving (or cover and refrigerate overnight, then let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving). Before serving, garnish with additional mint.