Want to get the most out of late summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables? Look to your blender and spice rack to puree seasonal produce into refreshing sips, chilled soups and savory sauces.
“We’re in peak farmer’s market season with an abundance of juicy red tomatoes and leafy greens,” says Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “The same old veggie sides and salads can get boring as the summer rolls on, and blending allows you to enjoy produce in tasty new ways – from using kale and avocado in a pasta sauce to a Greek yogurt dressing featuring pureed fresh cucumber.”
Try putting a flavorful spin on a classic summer side with this Greek pasta salad. Blend fresh cucumbers with Greek yogurt, lemon juice and herbs like dill weed and Mediterranean oregano to create a creamy dressing. Toss with cooked pasta, veggies and feta.
Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber Yogurt Dressing
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Dill Weed
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
8 ounces pasta, such as cellentani or gemelli
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
For the Cucumber Yogurt Dressing, place cucumber, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, dill, oregano and sea salt in blender container; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Greek Pasta Salad, cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli during last 1 minute of cooking. Rinse under cold water; drain well.
Place cooked pasta, broccoli, tomatoes and onions in large bowl. Add Cucumber Yogurt Dressing; toss gently to coat. Top with olives and feta cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.