The Perfect Salad

You don’t need a tutorial for salad making.  Everyone knows how to make a salad.

But, thing is.  You don’t know how to make this salad.

It’s got pasta in it.

And a handful of pungent-but-perfect kalamata olives.

The cool kiss of cucumbers.

The sharp bite of purple onions.

And cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.  How is this not the finest thing you’ve pondered all day?  Ridic.

You didn’t need a salad tutorial, but I’ll bet you’re glad you got one.  Now all you need is the secret dressing recipe. 

If only there was a printable recipe card which spilled the beans on such a secret.  Well, looky there. Your day of salad bliss has arrived.

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The Perfect Mediterranean Salad with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Inspired by my favorite salad at Noodles and Company, this simple Mediterrean salad is made about fourteen trillion times better when served with a creamy, homemade Roasted Red Pepper dressing.

Ingredients:

FOR THE SALAD:
6-8 cups Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup kalamata olives
16 ounces cooked pasta (I used one of Giada's pastas from Target)
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 small purple onion, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese

FOR THE DRESSING:
6 ounce plain Greek yogurt
2 large strips of roasted bell pepper
1/2 shallot
1/4 olive oil
3 tablespoon honey
1//4 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon salt
3-4 fresh basil leaves

Directions:

FOR THE SALAD:
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper salad dressing.

FOR THE DRESSING:
In a blender, puree all ingredients together until very smooth. Keep in your fridgidaire until ready to serve. Slather atop salad whence ready to enjoy.

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14 Responses to “The Perfect Salad”

  1. 1

    Liz on April 1, 2011 at 12:05 am Reply

    The shape of that pasta is totally freaking me out.

    • Brooke replied: — April 1st, 2011 @ 12:19 am

      Ha! Leave it to Giada. I love her pasta shapes!

  2. 2

    Katrina on April 1, 2011 at 3:41 am Reply

    This sure does look like the perfect salad! I love the dressing in this. It looks awesome.

  3. 3

    Becki on April 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm Reply

    Yes-I must agree that this is the perfect salad…and I actually got to eat some of it-so naner naner everyone! But seriously it is DELICIOUS! Thanks again Brooke!

    • Brooke replied: — April 1st, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

      Naner naner indeed! The only thing that makes this salad better is a fun night with beloved friends. XO

  4. 4

    Maria on April 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Love it!

  5. 5

    Kaylie on April 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm Reply

    I may fall in love with this salad dressing – roasted red peppers are so my type!

  6. 6

    Susan on April 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm Reply

    This was a might tasty dinner tonight. I especially liked the dressing – thanks for the recipe! My only challenge is finding a red onion that’s not too strong. Any suggestions on selecting a good red onion at the store (I try to smell them, but that doesn’t seem to always do the trick)?

    • Brooke replied: — April 3rd, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

      Oh, sheesh! Great questions! If it’s too oniony, feel free to swap in a Vidalia, or reduce the amount of red onion! No probs!

  7. 7

    Buttercup on April 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm Reply

    This looks great. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. 8

    Megan on April 4, 2011 at 7:49 am Reply

    I’ll take that for lunch! Looks so fresh and crisp.

  9. 9

    Laura on May 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm Reply

    Reply to Susan’s question about red onions: I am not a fan of raw onions but some recipes aren’t the same without it. Soaking the sliced or chopped red onion in ice water takes the edge off the “oniony” smell and taste.

  10. 10

    Therese on May 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm Reply

    I just read this to my husband and his first comment was, “I’d throw some grilled shrimp on that.” Either way, we’re trying this one.

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