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Author Notes: Made for a BBQ where it was sure to sit out for a few hours, this is a completely improvised recipe based on what I had on hand: an almost-out-of-date jar of roasted red peppers, a chunk of feta cheese, and a lot of cucumbers. The use of both lemon juice/zest and balsamic vinegar adds a little extra zing and brightness to the dressing. —Muttersome
- 1 pound short pasta (I used rotelle)
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 2 roasted red peppers, jarred or homemade
- 1/4 large red onion, finely diced
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 dash salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- Cook the pasta according to directions until it is al dente; strain into a colander and rinse to ensure the pasta doesn't stick. Allow the pasta to cool and put it into a large bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking/cooling, peel and chop the cucumbers into bite sized pieces (about 1x1x1); chop the red peppers into similar sized pieces.
- Once the pasta has cooled, add the cucumbers, the peppers, and the red onion. Add the crumbled feta cheese and lemon zest to the bowl. Set aside.
- To assemble the dressing: add all ingredients to a jar, close tightly, and shake well to combine. Alternatively, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt & pepper and then drizzle the olive oil in, whisking quickly.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
- Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper as needed. I find a healthy pinch of salt doesn't hurt, but the feta is salty as well so it can depend on your cheese.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill until needed. This salad tastes good at room temperature or cold from the fridge, and will keep for several days. A nice accompaniment to your summertime grilled meats; lamb would round out the Mediterranean flavors nicely. This is also hearty enough to satisfy any vegetarians who may be attending your backyard BBQ.