For grilling lovers like me, this pasta salad is an answer to the side dish dilemma. I know, right? So many choices out there for a side dish. If it’s up to me, I like to have one or two side dishes with grilled meat or seafood. And who wouldn’t eat a salad?
With a refreshing herb and lemon vinaigrette, this veggie-packed pasta salad is delicious by itself or as a side dish. Here you’ve got crunchy cucumbers, sweet grape tomatoes and peppery arugula. To balance it all out, a sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese at the end builds layers of flavor.
So skip the mayonnaisey salads and try this next time. To avoid wilting, add the arugula last and toss it in just before serving.
Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad with Arugula
- ½ lb Rotini pasta
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese or shaved parmiggiano plus more for garnish
- 2 (handfuls) baby arugula
- 2 Persian cucumbers halved lengthwise, then chopped
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove minced
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 5 basil leaves chopped
- Boil the pasta in salted water for 7-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, place lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper. Whisk together while slowly drizzling the olive oil into the mixture. Set aside.
- Drain the pasta in a colander. Let cool. Take the bowl with vinaigrette and add in the pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onion, feta cheese, basil and arugula. Toss together and season with more salt and pepper to your taste. Top with a little more feta cheese.