This is the perfect hearty salad for a summer picnic supper.
1/2 pound penne paste (small tube shape)
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters
1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes*, chopped
1 cup black olives, cut in half
1/2 pound grilled salmon, cut in bite-sized pieces
4 ounces(1/2 cup crumbled) tomato basil seasoned feta cheese
6 ounces (about 8 cups) fresh small spinach leaves, washed and drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts**, optional
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large saucepan, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions until al dente. Chill under cold running water. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine pasta, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives, ham, and cheese and spinach leaves. Set pine nuts aside. In a small jar, combine olive oil, garlic, basil, and vinegar. Pour into salad bowl and toss gently. Top individual servings with pine nuts if desired.
*Roasted red peppers can be substituted for the sun dried tomatoes.
**To toast pine nuts, cook in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 1 -2 minutes or until lightly golden. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
Nutritional information per serving:
Fat, gm. 14
Protein, gm. 13
Carb, gm 30
Fiber, gm 3.6