Olive, Chickpea and Feta Salad

Chickpea, Olive and Feta Pasta

I’m still can’t believe that the Fourth of July is over! Life is so busy, I feel like I blinked and its half over. We’ve been so busy with freelance projects this summer that easy pasta salad has become daily routine at our house. Take four or five ingredients, cook pasta, and season to taste. This is one of my new favorites for sure. Feta cheese has always been a favorite of mine. I first had it at a Turkish restaurant in New York during my senior year of college. I remember it like a dream. I was eating with Milton Glaser himself, — yeah I just name dropped — and between forkfuls of Turkish Potato Rolls rolled in phyllo dough, I absorbed every bit of  his generous wisdom and marveled at his dirty-old-man sense of humor. Great guy, amazing and phenomenal designer. It was a highlight of my life. I only hope he’s not offended by me remembering him through feta cheese.

Ingredients:

1/2 box of long noodles or 1 1/2 cups rice (whatever is enough to make 3-4 cups of finished pasta/rice)
2 cup dried chickpeas
8 oz. Greek sheep’s milk feta cheese, cubed
4 oz. black or kalamata olives, pitted and halved
large handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons harissa, or to taste
½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Chickpea, Olive and Feta Pasta

Chickpea, Olive and Feta Pasta

  1. 1. Cook desired amount of noodles according to directions. Drain and toss with olive oil. Gently stir in olives, chickpeas, feta and parsley.
  2. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, harissa and salt to make the dressing. Pour over the salad and mix gently together. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Note: If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak overnight in water with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover, cooking for one and a half hours or until soft. Drain and add to a large bowl.

An additional ingredient I think would be lovely in this salad to add a bit more color and flavor are cherry tomatoes. Halve them and stir in with the ingredients in step 1. I highly recommend this as a cold salad. That may slip it into a non-traditional dinner category, but it’s summer so why not!

Also, if you love feta, one of my favorite bloggers Maria at Two Peas and Their Pod is hosting a marvelous Feta-Themed Giveaway. Give it a looksie and enter!