When the weather starts heating up, it’s inevitable that our appetites turn to lighter dishes and fresher flavours. I love incorporating vegetables in all my dishes throughout the year, but there’s something about summer vegetables that is particularly refreshing. Perhaps it’s the effortless way the flavours of in-season veggies merge together to refresh the palate and leave you feeling satisfied rather than completely stuffed. This pasta dish is the perfect example. It marries the sweetness of tomatoes and bell peppers with the pepperiness of arugula and the saltiness of feta to create a delicate dish. Brought together with a variety of herbs, both bottled and fresh, it’s the perfect summer meal. I used brown rice pasta for this recipe, but feel free to choose whatever type or shape of pasta you prefer. Also, the recipe calls for salted herbs, a condiment made from herbs, vegetables and salt that can usually be found in the refrigerated vegetable section of the grocery store. If you’ve never tried salted herbs, I highly recommend you do. They give amazing flavour to pasta dishes like this one, and soups, vinaigrettes and even omelettes.
Warm Summer Vegetable Feta Pasta Salad
400g brown rice spaghetti
4 cups arugula
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, thinly sliced
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup feta cheese, cut into small cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Herbes de Provences
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp salted herbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Start by cooking the brown rice pasta according to package instructions.
2. In the meantime, prepare all your other ingredients. In a big bowl, combine the arugula, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, basil, feta, garlic, herbes de Provence and red onion. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, herbes salées and olive oil.
4. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain, then add the pasta to the bowl with the veggies. Let sit a few minutes to allow the pasta to warm the rest of the ingredients. After a few minutes, add the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
5. Serve with a few shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese if desired.
[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]