Greek Pasta Salad
4 teaspoons fresh dill, divided
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 lemon zested and juiced
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup cold water
4 teaspoons dried greek oregano, divided
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ pound orecchiette pasta
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup olives, pitted and cut in half
2 ½ cups feta, divided
3 red bell peppers, roasted, skin and pit removed and cut into strips
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup eggplant, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the dressing. Combine 2 cups of feta, dill, paprika, 3 teaspoons oregano, lemon juice and zest into the bowl of a food processor, until a paste forms. Then with the machine running, stream in water and oil until dressing is well combined. Transfer dressing to a mixing bowl and fold in additional 2 teaspoons fresh dill and crushed red pepper flake. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
- Next, toss eggplant and zucchini in remaining olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and spread out evenly onto a sheet tray lined with baking parchment. Roast vegetables until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a large pot, bring 2 cups of vegetable stock plus 2 cups of water to a boil. Add salt to taste and cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain pasta and transfer to a large mixing bowl. While the pasta is warm, add baby spinach and toss through feta dressing to allow spinach to wilt and pasta to absorb sauce. Let pasta cool to room temperature before assembling the final dish.
- To assemble, toss in cooled, cut and prepared remaining vegetables with pasta spinach mix. Add in remaining feta, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.