This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was selected by the fabulous Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table. I love checking in on her blog at least once or twice a week, if not more. Her food always looks delicious, and she belongs to some really cool cooking groups (like our Ellie group, of course!). For this week's dish, she chose the Whole-Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese, from Ellie's The Food You Crave book.
Same as last week, when we made Ellie's Mushroom, Onion, and Basil Pizza, I couldn't believe that this week's recipe had never caught my eye before. I've had this cookbook for almost three years, and use it very often. Plus, pasta is my ultimate favorite comfort food. Yet, somehow, I've never made this pasta salad! Well, thank you very much, Kayte; because of you, now I have.
It's a snap to put together. Boil up some pasta, toast some walnuts, chop some onions (and green bell peppers, in my case), whisk together a simple vinaigrette of oil (I used avocado oil and it was yummy!), vinegar, Dijon mustard, and garlic, then throw everything in a bowl with fresh spinach, feta cheese, and salt and pepper. Funny story: I didn't have fresh spinach when I assembled my salad (I prepared it a day ahead of eating it as a side dish for dinner), so I had planned on adding the spinach in at the last minute, after we had picked some up at the grocery store. But when it came time to eat this for dinner, the spinach completely escaped my mind. Before I knew it, we were all eating, and there was no spinach in sight. It was safely tucked away in my fridge. It was still delicious, though! We have leftovers of this pasta salad, so I just added some spinach to the leftovers and we'll be able to enjoy it that way next time. Oh well. My planning was good; my execution was lacking!
As predicted, I loved this dish. The flavors really had a chance to mix and mingle while the pasta salad sat in the fridge overnight, so it was very vibrant and robust. The hubby said he was surprised that he loved this as much as he did. I was a bit concerned that the dressing wouldn't contribute enough flavor to the salad, but I should have trusted Ellie, as always. It all worked beautifully, and now I have a new pasta salad recipe under my belt!