Cottage Component 1: Picnic-Perfect Summer Salad

It's summer tiiiimmmme and the cooking is eeeeaasy here at Stute-kitchen :) Team Stute has returned from a fantastic weekend away at a cottage with good friends, gorgeous weather, and GREAT food. Combining our forces we came up with a delicious cottage-time lunch: pasta salad and barbecued skewers. Fresh ingredients and a new spin on these old classics takes traditional summer food to a new level of goodness.

You're gonna need:

  • Roughly 2 generous cups of uncooked shell (conchiglie) pasta
  • One yellow pepper, seeded and cut into slim chunks (or however you like your pepper in a salad), if you go really chunky, use 2 peppers
  • Half a cucumber, sliced into half circles
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, diced roughly
  • 1 pint (usually a container) of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a sweet onion (though any kind would likely do, this salad gets more onion-y the longer it exists, so choose wisely), finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 3-5 generous handfuls of baby spinach (mixed greens will do in a pinch, but they don't keep as long once the dressing is mixed in).

Dressing: Whisk together...

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 heaping  tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
Ground Black Pepper to taste


Roughly 1.5 cups of light feta cheese -though really, add as much or a little as you like - , rinsed, dried, and crumbled (my new technique is to rinse the block from the brine, and then squeeze the liquid out in my fist, over the sink - this dries and crumbles simultaneously, then you can just brush your hands off in the salad)

To assemble:

1. Cook the pasta (roughly 8-10 minutes to get it al dente), rinse in cold water, and set aside.

2. Combine all your veggies, except the spinach, in a large bowl, using your hands to mix gently, being
sure to distribute the dill.

3. Add pasta to veggies, again, stirring with hands.

4. Add spinach by handful, assessing how much or how little you will want personally. Mix with hands (this avoids breaking the pasta shells)

5. Pour dressing over pasta and veggies (if you don't like getting oily, use a utensil here, but I swear, hands is the way to go)

6. Chill.
7. Crumble feta into salad before serving. Mix.

This makes roughly 10 servings, depending on the appetites in the room. Be sure to wait 20 minutes or so before hitting the lake!!!

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