Mediterranean Summer Salad Recipe

Servings: 2

Time: 25 min

Diet: GF

Mediterranean Summer Salad Recipe

A light, summer-friendly recipe

It can be hard to motivate yourself to get cooking and get creative in the kitchen in the peak of the summer months. When it’s just too hot and you’re feeling lazy, there’s nothing better than a super quick lunch recipe that’s delicious, nutritious, and refreshing! That’s why we’ve put together this speedy pasta salad that’s filling, summer-proof, and easy to adapt with your favourite ingredients.

Some inspiration for your summer salad

We’ve gone for a Mediterranean mix of black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and creamy feta cheese, topped with fragrant basil and a drizzle of our favourite authentic Italian olive oil.

If you’re not sure what to toss into your pasta salad and need a little inspiration, we’ve got some wonderful suggestions you can try. The great thing about a classic salad is that anything goes, so it’s one of those dishes you can fall back on if you have some ingredients lying around that need using up.

Top tip: This is a great way to use up any leftover chicken from your Sunday roast!

Here’s what we suggest:

Classic: cherry/plum tomatoes, shredded chicken, cucumber, sweetcorn, yellow pepper (with garnish/toppings/sauce of your choice)

Power of veg: cherry/plum tomatoes, courgettes, sweetcorn, sugar snap peas (with garnish/toppings of your choice)

Protein-packed: chicken or smoked salmon, avocado, crushed nuts (like almonds or cashews)

Deliciously creamy: Cherry tomatoesmushroom cream, basil, pine nuts

Deli-style: Prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes (with garnish/toppings of your choice)

Seafood: prawns or tuna chunks and green pesto (with garnish/toppings of your choice)

The secret ingredients

The difference between good food and great food lies in the quality of the ingredients, and here at Real Italiano, we think that makes all the difference. Especially when it comes to salads, it’s easy to make them dull and uninspired if the ingredients lack taste and quality. That’s why we swear by the authentic Mediterranean food that we source from local, family-owned businesses in Spain and Italy. Here’s what adds power to our summer salad:

Casa Rinaldi Virgin Olive Oil with Basil

Casa Rinaldi Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Basil (250ml)

 

 

We highly recommend adding flavour-infused oils to your cupboard staples. They’re an incredibly easy way to cook with flavour and complement your dishes from the very start. This particular basil-infused oil from Casa Rinaldi has a fresh and delicate basil flavour. It’s the perfect way to seasons salads, pasta dishes, soups and fish.
Bio Gustiamo Organic Whole Black Olives
Bio Gustiamo Organic Whole Black Olives

 

These are whole peranzana olives, which are seasoned with salt. They make a great appetiser, antipasti platter, or seasoning for salads, pizzas and bruschetta. In this salad recipe, they’re also perfect for adding colour and texture.
Bio Gustiamo Organic Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil
Bio Gustiamo Organic Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oil

 

These sun-dried tomatoes are packed with flavour and incredible seasoning that will add taste and colour to any dish. They’re so flavoursome and well-seasoned that there’s no need for any extra salt or pepper! They’re also great for adding moisture as they’re preserved in oil, making them perfect for pasta salads.

Mediterranean Summer Salad Recipe

Ingredients

200g Pasta Natura Gluten Free Red Lentil Penne Pasta

160g cooked chicken (chunks or shredded)

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

110g baby spinach or rocket

60g Bio Gustiamo Organic Whole Black Olives, pitted

200g feta cheese, cut into chunks or crumbled

1 tbsp Casa Rinaldi Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Basil

80g Bio Gustiamo Organic Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil  

1 red onion, finely sliced

A handful of fresh basil leaves

A handful of crushed pine nuts

Cooking method

1. Get plenty of salted water boiling in a saucepan. Once bubbling, add the pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente. Once ready, drain the pasta over a container to preserve the pasta water.

Top tip: Never drain your pasta water away! Cooked pasta water is an incredible ingredient to use as a base for many different soups and sauces, so just store it for next time and easily add extra flavour to your dishes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cherry and sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, chicken and olive oil. Next, toss in the spinach (or rocket) and onions, and mix well. Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and mix everything together, making sure that the pasta is evenly coated in the oils.

3. Serve this deliciously light and fragrant salad with a healthy garnish of fresh basil and crushed pine nuts for some added texture. You can also use other sweet nuts like walnuts or cashews, or even have some grissini on the side.

We love celebrating our food in traditional Italian ways, so we always recommend enjoying your home cooking with others. This salad recipe is perfect for a summer garden party, so get your gli amici (friends) together and enjoy!