Three-Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives as well as Other Easter Sides

Three-Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives as well as Other Easter Sides

Three-Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives as well as Other Easter Sides

 

As I was sweeping, at long last, yesterday afternoon, a little dust bunny told me that Easter is right around the corner. 

That means that it’s time to dye eggs, buy Easter basket tchotchkes, and think about what to make for Sunday’s dinner.

We’re doing something different by hosting a brunch this year, which will include luscious blueberry french toast casserole, asparagus with hollandaise, a bagel platter with all of the trimmings, sliced ham, mimosas, and fresh fruit. Since most of you will be having a more traditional meal, however, I thought I’d include an easily-modified pasta salad side that we’ve enjoyed for years, as well as links to several side dishes I’ve posted in the past that would work well for your Easter supper.

Recipe courtesy of: epicurious.com – adapted

 

Three-Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives 

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces medium-size pasta shells (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped pitted brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese ( about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup basil vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 t of sugar or to taste
  • I tossed in a can of sliced hearts of palm, a can of quartered artichoke hearts, a teaspoon or two of crushed red pepper, and a chopped yellow bell pepper to give it more color.

Using Newman’s Own balsamic vinaigrette would work well as an easy alternative to the homemade dressing.

 

Directions:

Cook pasta in pot of boiling water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain well.

Mix pasta, olives, bell pepper, all cheeses and basil in large bowl to combine. (As well as anything else you choose to add.)

Pour vinegar into small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Add sugar; season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Easter Side Dishes: Three Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives - mixing the vinaigrette

 

Toss salad with enough dressing to coat.

 

Easter Side Dishes: Three Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives - dressing the salad

 

Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead; keep refrigerated.)

And here’s the printable version for your convenience.

What’s that?

Oh, you’re welcome!

 

Three Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives

Website epicurious.com
Pasta with three cheeses, loads of fresh vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette make this a wonderful addition to your Easter spread!

Ingredients

  • 8oz medium-sized pasta shells
  • 1 cup chopped pitted brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup basil vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cups olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 can hearts of palm (sliced)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (quartered)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Cook pasta in pot of boiling water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain well.
Step 2
Mix pasta, olives, bell pepper, all cheeses, artichokes, hearts of palm, crushed red pepper and basil in large bowl to combine. Pour vinegar into small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Add sugar; season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead; keep refrigerated.)

 

Here are some more dishes that would be perfect for an Easter spread (Just click on the name of the dish to get to the recipe.):

 

Asparagus with wasabi mayo dip: This is a super simple appetizer, and it features asparagus, an iconic spring veggie. I sold it to you the first time around as a Christmas dish on a red and green tray, but can’t you just picture it on a pastel tray with colored Easter eggs and chive bunches lining the sides? I think it would be lovely. And come July 4th, no doubt I’ll try to sell it to you as the grass element in a backyard-themed appetizer tray. You’ve gotta watch out for me. I can be very sly.

 

Easter Side Dishes: Asparagus with wasabi dip

 

Best grape salad: Green and purple grapes coated in a sweet cream cheese/sour cream dressing topped with nuts and brown sugar – don’t let its looks deceive you. This delicious “bowl of sand” will soon become a requested dish for every holiday spread.

 

Easter Side Dishes: Best Grape Salad

 

Pub salad: Include whatever salad add-ins you think will complement your meal e.g., sliced boiled eggs, sliced ham or bacon, par-boiled asparagus, chopped green onions, and quartered radishes. Any way you slice it, this salad is delicious, beautiful and unique.

 

Easter Side Dishes: Fresh Pub Salad

 

Chipotle Mac and Cheese: If you’re serving ham, this smoky, spicy mac and cheese with garlic breadcrumb topping is the perfect accompaniment for you!

 

Easter side dishes: Chipotle mac and cheese

 

Berry Pavlova: Here’s a festive dessert that’s perfect for a special occasion. I’ll bet all of the candy in my basket that no one at your gathering will have even heard of a Pavlova let alone tasted one. Yet once they do, they’ll be hooked! It’s chewy, flaky melt in your mouth goodness inherent with a baked meringue cake covered in berries and whipped cream. Caveat: don’t even attempt to carry this across town to Grandma’s house. If you’re hosting, however, it’ll be a perfect, albeit very sloppy, ending to your meal!

 

Easter Side Dishes: Berry Pavlova

 

Have a delicious Easter feast!

 

 

Written by Becky


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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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