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Food Comics: Broccoli Feta Pasta Salad

Tom O.
Posted by Tom O. on Jan 26, 2017
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We are pleased to introduce Food Comics from The Chopping Block where our resident Cartoonist Tom O'Brien illustrates his cooking adventures. Here, he shows us how to make a tasty pasta salad and even provides a way to lighten it up at the end.

Hello there Food Fans!  Veggies are a key part of any diet and one of my favorite veggies, and one of the best ones for you, is Broccoli.  Looking to add a little of the green stuff to your diet?  Why not try some  Broccoli Feta Pasta Salad  Originally designed as a side, I often make this dish as a main course, because my family loves it so much!  This recipe serves 4, but as always, feel free to scale up or down.  Here's what you'll need:  1 medium head broccoli, chopped into 1/2-inch florets 1 pound farfalle pasta (bowties) 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 half a medium red onion, thinly sliced 8 ounces feta cheese 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Flaky salt and freshly-ground black pepper  Chop the head of broccoli into florets.  Bring two pots of water to a boil. In one, cook the pasta according to the directions.  When you add the pasta to the first pot of water, add the broccoli to the second.  Cook the broccoli for the same amount of time as the pasta.

Alternatively, you can cook the pasta and the broccoli in the same pan by putting the broccoli into a heat safe, submersible container, like a food grade silicone strainer.  In a deep sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Drain the pasta and return to the pan or a large bowl and toss until coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Drain the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender — about 5 to 7 minutes. Boiling the broccoli first means it'll be cooked through and softer.  Sauteing the broccoli will give it the flavor that you want.  Toss the broccoli with the cooked pasta. Add the feta cheese, olives, and red onion to the pasta and broccoli.  Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar and toss with the pasta. Season generously with salt and pepper.  I like to serve this dish with the broccoli still warm, but you can refrigerate it until serving, or even overnight if you want to make it in advance.

Looking to make this dish a little lighter or gluten free?  Cut the pasta, and replace it with two thinly sliced, uncooked cucumbers.  Double the amount of vinegar and olive oil in the dressing, and allow the cucumber to marinade in the vinaigrette dressing while you cook the broccoli.  That will give the cucumber some time to soften up.  When you're ready, add the dressing and cucumber to the broccoli, feta, olives and onion, and mix well.If you love broccoli as much as Tom does, you won't want to miss The Chopping Block's upcoming Ramen Workshop. Not only will you learn how to make noodles from scratch, you'll learn how to use them in both a traditional ramen soup as well as Beef, Broccoli and Ramen Noodle stir fry in this hands-on cooking class.

Broccoli is also one of our favorite clean eating ingredients. Download our Clean Eating: Eat to Live guide for ideas on using more whole plant foods like broccoli in your diet.

Clean Eating: Eat to Live

Love our food comics but want a text-only version for easy reference in the kitchen? Download a PDF of the recipe here.

Tom Broccoli

Topics: salad, pasta, broccoli, food comics

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