It is time for delicious summer salads!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Shrimp+Avocado and Greek Lemon Garlic Chicken Salad. Yum!
During the winter we curl up with bulky sweaters and enjoy comfort foods but when the temp rises and short shorts are in fashion we crave lighter meals. No need to compromise flavor! With all the fresh garden options, great flavor is easy. Today, we’re making two salads that take their flavor cues from the Mediterranean with tomatoes, oregano, basil, lemon, feta cheese, kalamata olives and more.
As a side or as a meal, this pasta salad with shrimp and avocado is light and flavor-packed. The pasta in this dish is a supporting role letting the host of delicious ingredients shine. Although this dressing is a Mayo based dressing it is made lighter by combining lemon juice and olive oil with a lesser amount of mayo than usual mayo based pasta salads. The Mediterranean flavors come from the fresh herbs, spices, red onion, kalamata olives and salty feta.
Mediterranean pasta salad with shrimp and avocado
- 1/4 cup lemon juice + 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp dried oregano (Greek oregano preferred)
- 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup Helman’s Mayonayse
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more if needed later
For Pasta Salad
- 2 cups pasta
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped red onions
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved or chopped
- Pepper flakes, optional
- 2-3 avocados, pitted and chopped (dress avocado with lemon juice to avoid browning)
- 12 oz cooked large shrimp
- 4 oz Greek feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- Cook pasta in boiling water according to package instructions until al dante (don’t forget to add salt to cooking water).
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk mayo, lemon juice, zest, garlic, spices, salt and pepper together.
- Whisk in extra virgin olive oil in a slow and steady stream until smooth.
When pasta is ready, drain.
- Whisk the dressing again to blend, then add the pasta to the same bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients except avocado, shrimp and feta. Toss to mix thoroughly; and let the pasta salad cool completely.
- When you are ready to serve, add avocado and shrimp. Drizzle a little more olive oil if needed.
- Toss gently to combine, then add feta. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.Transfer to serving platter. Serve at room temperature.
Make ahead instructions: You can make the pasta salad up to 24 hours earlier (hold avocado, shrimp and feta until later). Bring pasta salad to room temperature before serving; follow step 4 to serve.
Greek Lemon Garlic Chicken Salad
Greek Lemon Garlic Chicken Salad with Tzatziki
This salad is reminiscent of Greek Souvlaki thanks to an incredible dressing that doubles as a marinade! Serve with warm Naan or flat bread.
2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts , halved to make four fillets
4 Flatbreads (store bought )
Marinade / Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2 large garlic cloves, minced)
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cracked pepper
For The Tazatziki (or use store bought):
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small seedless cucumber , peeled, deseeded and grated
- 1 clove of garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
For The Salad:
- 3 seedless cucumbers , halved lengthways and sliced thick
- 250 g | 8 oz cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
- 1 green pepper (capsicum), deseeded and sliced
- 1/2 red onion , sliced thinly
- 7 oz | 200 g marinated Feta cheese , cubed
- 1/2 cup (3 oz | 80 g) pitted Kalamata olives
- Whisk together all the marinade / dressing ingredients in large, shallow dish. Pour out 1/3 cup to use as the dressing; reserve in the refrigerator for later.
- Add the chicken to the marinade and evenly coat; cover and allow to marinade for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
- While chicken is marinading, prepare tzatziki: combine tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Toss salad ingredients together. Warm store bought flatbreads on a pan over low heat until soft and warmed through. Transfer to warmed plates.
- Heat a large grill pan / skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the pan. Sear until the chicken is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes each side (total cook time of 10 to 12 minutes). Remove chicken from the pan; allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thickly and arrange on salad.
- Slice each flatbread into four pieces and arrange on salad plates. Drizzle with the reserved dressing and serve with the tzatziki.