This pasta salad is amazing. It has fresh summer tomatoes, creamy feta cheese, and loads of fresh basil. It’s lemony with a bit of crunch from pine nuts and fresh cucumber. It’s perfect with grilled chicken in the summertime! If you’re here for a pasta salad but don’t have squash blossoms, make it without! If you’re here for a squash blossom recipe, have I got something fun for you!
I served this poolside for dinner with my friend Emily. I made my whole grilled chicken from my Romeo and Juliet dinner for an easy make-ahead meal. I had the pasta chilled and ready to go and the chicken marinating all afternoon so all I had to do was grill the chicken and the squash blossoms.
One of the benefits of growing your own squash, zucchini, and pumpkins are the delicate, lovely blossoms. You can eat squash blossoms raw so if you prefer, just toss them with the pasta salad but note that they are more perishable than the rest of the salad so I recommend just topping each individual serving with a few squash blossoms.
I tossed these beauties on the grill when my chicken was almost done for a delicious and easy dinner that screams summertime. Which is my favorite? The pumpkin blossoms! They’re big and fluffy and absolutely delicious. This is my new favorite summertime pasta salad.
Squash Blossom Pasta Salad
1 box penne pasta
1 english cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 orange or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
Half a block of feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil, torn
Squash blossoms (2-3 per person)
Lemon dressing (recipe follows)
Serving suggestion: Whole Grilled Chicken
- Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and toss with half of the lemon dressing (recipe below). Cool 15 minutes.
- Toss penne with cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, pine nuts, kalamata olives, feta cheese, basil, and remaining dressing. Chill.
- Swish squash blossoms around in ice water and set on a paper towel to dry. Just before serving, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and throw on the grill for 60-90 seconds or until slightly wilted. Top pasta salad with squash blossoms.
Zest from one large or two small lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice (one large or two small lemons)
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
- Zest and juice lemons. Slowly whisk in olive oil and dried oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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