How to make the perfect Greek Style Pasta Salad



Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves six people


A wise man once said that there are few things in life that bring more joy than picnics.

That quote may well have just been made up on the spot by me, but I stand by it for the simple fact that picnics are just fantastic. Good food, a bottle of wine, a group of friends and a sunny day… what is there not to like?

Every picnic needs a few basic components - sandwiches, some cheese and cold meats, maybe some chips and dips… and then the salads.

There are thousands of potential salad recipes to choose from, but this cold, Greek Style pasta salad ticks all the boxes, being filling and substantial while still remaining light and delicious.


What you'll need:

  • Three hundred and fifty grams of penne (or any other type of pasta)
  • Eight large sprigs of fresh mint, leaves removed and chopped
  • One hundred and fifty grams of frozen peas
  • Two hundred grams of crumbled feta cheese
  • Fifty grams of rocket leaves or similar
  • One lemon - grated zest and juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Some extra virgin olive oil
  • Thirty or so good green olives

Method

First

Boil your pasta as you usually would in salted water. Add one of the sprigs of mint to the water - this will add a mild infusion of flavour to the pasta which will make it very fresh and tasty. Three minutes before the pasta is cooked, add your frozen peas, and then drain and set aside to cool. Discard the mint sprig.

Second

Once cool, put the pasta into a large bowl, and add the feta, rocket, half of the lemon juice, remaining mint leaves, lemon zest and a good glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well.

Third

Chop your olives, or smash them in a pestle and mortar, and stir into your salad. Add some more olive oil and the rest of the lemon juice, along with more seasoning if needed. Serve cold on a hot day!


Wine pairing for Greek Style Pasta Salad

Wine pairing for salad dishes isn't the easiest. There tends to be a couple of dominant flavours in every salad, which can make it tricky to match up with a single wine - not to mention the fact that all of those leaves each have different flavours of their own, some peppery, some bitter, sweet, or savoury.

With this Greek-inspired pasta salad, however, we can narrow the main flavours down to just a couple - we have the saltiness of the feta and olives, backed up by the peppery, fragrant rocket leaves.

As such, the best pairing for this type of salad would be a good Sauvignon Blanc. The citrus acidity of this wine will cut through all that salt and lift the salad to new heights, while the decent body of a Sauvignon Blanc will add a bit of substance to the eating experience. Also, this wine is always a winner when drank outside on a hot day - so get stuck in and enjoy your picnic!


There you have it -- a Greek-inspired version of your classic pasta salad!

Now, it's time to find out which types of wine match your palate. Click the link below so we can get you started!

Next up: Take our Wine Palate Quiz and match your personal tastes to your top three wine types