Last month, a close friend of mine flew home to the Midwest to attend her 96-year-old grandmother’s funeral. It was a bittersweet trip; for years she had called her grandma every Wednesday evening to chat, even if she had to skip out on girl’s night to do so.
When she returned, we met up and she told stories of both her memories of her grandma and the week in South Dakota. She explained that at the memorial, at least 13 people brought homemade salads, but none of them contained any leafy greens! After living in sunny and healthy California for so long, she forgot about the potato, pasta, and jello (yes, jello!) salads of her youth.
Although we laughed a lot about the salad spectacle, it still inspired me to throw together my own. Since I couldn’t remember the last time I made a pasta salad, I went with that variety. But I still chopped up plenty of veggies to compensate for the lack of greens!
Teeny Tiny Pasta Salad
serves 2-3 as a meal or 4-6 as a side
Try to cut the vegetables to be about the same size as a corn kernel to avoid awkwardly large bits along with the small pasta. Add in chicken or white beans for some protein.
½ c. whole-wheat pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 medium cucumber
1 medium red bell pepper
1 large ear of corn
¼ c. feta cheese
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
⅛ tsp garlic powder
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Cook the couscous according to the package’s directions, omitting salt and fat. When done, drain and rinse under cold water until the couscous reaches room temperature. Set aside.
- Dice the cucumber and pepper, and add to a large bowl. Cut the corn kernels off of the cob, and add them to the bowl. Add the couscous to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and next 5 ingredients (through garlic). Drizzle over the couscous mixture, and toss to coat evenly. Mix in half of the feta cheese. Plate the pasta salad, and evenly sprinkle the remaining feta over each serving.