It sure is nice to be back in the U.S. of A., where leafy greens and steady WiFi connections abound. I’m playing catch-up today, so it seems like the perfect time to share this pasta salad recipe that you may have seen last week on Free People’s BLDG 25 blog.
This Mediterranean-style salad is light, refreshing, and overflowing with colorful rounds of thinly sliced raw zucchini and yellow squash. It’s just the kind of meal I’m craving as I recover from a week of overindulgence and adventure in the tropics.
By the way, I was in Belize for the launch of a beautiful cookbook about Belizean food called Flavors of Belize. I’m thrilled to be able to reference my favorite recipes now that I’m back home. For a sampling of the recipes in the book, check out the Flavors of Belize recipe page.
I have so many photos, stories and meals from Belize that I’m just bursting to share with you. All in due time, promise. You can see a few snaps on Instagram, but for a more thorough synopsis of our trip, check Simone’s summaries on The Trail of Crumbs. Simone is the epitome of rad and I’m so glad I can call her a friend.
Hope your weekends are full of laughs and smiles and good food, maybe even this pasta salad. Au revoir!
- 1⅓ cup whole wheat Israeli couscous (or any other small pasta shape, you’ll need about 3 cups cooked)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 small lemon, juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 3 ounces feta, crumbled (about ⅓ cup)
- 10 kalamata olives, sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into super thin rounds using a vegetable peeler
- 1 small yellow squash, sliced into super thin rounds using a vegetable peeler
- ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted
- ⅓ cup basil, chopped
- Bring 1⅔ cup salted water to a boil.
- Stir in the couscous, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, until the couscous is tender and all of the water is absorbed.
- While the couscous is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, sea salt and black pepper in a large bowl.
- Add the couscous to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing.
- Top the pasta with all of the remaining ingredients, and toss to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add an extra squeeze of lemon juice if necessary. For the best flavor, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Change it up: I used whole wheat Israeli couscous for my salad, but any small whole wheat pasta shape will do. Small shells, fusilli and farfalle are all great options. Just cook the pasta in salted water according to the package’s directions and proceed with the recipe.
Make it gluten free: Substitute your favorite small gluten-free pasta for the couscous.
Make it vegan: If you choose to make the salad vegan by omitting the cheese, you might want to add a few more sliced olives to make up for the salty punch of feta.
Make it nut free: Technically pine nuts are seeds, but you can omit them if they don't work for you or if you're concerned about cross-contamination.