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Cauliflower, Fennel, and Artichoke Pasta Salad with Feta

April 26, 2012

by Emily

Do you ever have moments where you feel like your mother? This entire week I’ve felt like my mother. I’ve been wheeling and dealing on Craigslist, running around like a mad woman trying to finish up projects, start new ones, and just generally manage life. We all have hectic schedules, but it certainly makes me wonder how they’ve done it… for years.

Oh, and by the way, I’ve been making dinners like her, too. My mom would call this “clean out the fridge” pasta salad. While I’ve already attached another absurdly long title to this recipe, her descriptor is about right. Since I am hitting the road for Houston to close on my old-sweet-home, I not only needed to clean out the fridge, but fit in some healthy, heavy-lifting meals. Don’t worry, you can make some substitutions and make this pasta all your own – and turn into your mother, which really isn’t so bad after all.

Cauliflower, Fennel, and White Bean Pasta Salad with Feta
adapted from The Ktchn

1 package pasta – any type

1/3 cup olive oil

2 long sprigs fresh thyme

1 lemon

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 small head of cauliflower

1 (15-ounce) can artichokes, rinsed and drained

1 fennel bulb

Any other veggies found in your fridge, such as cherry tomatoes

Handful fresh chives

Handful fresh parsley

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the thyme sprigs and then slide them through your fingers to remove just the thyme leaves. Cook in the hot olive oil just for a few moments, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

Chop or shred the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Chop and shave the fennel bulb using a mandoline or a chef’s knife. Place everything in a large baking dish. Toss with a little olive oil and roast, turning one time, until golden. Remove from oven and cool.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

Zest the lemon and set aside the zest. Juice the lemon and whisk the juice and vinegar together. Drain and rinse the artichokes. Chop into small chunks.  Mince the chives and parsley.

Combine cauliflower, artichokes, fennel, pasta, chives, parsley, lemon zest, and thyme oil in a large bowl and toss. Mix in cheese. Add lemon juice mixture and toss to coat. Season salad to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2012 4:43 pm

    Fennel and feta! Fantastic. Such wonderful flavours.

  2. Mamasita Pattie permalink
    April 26, 2012 9:14 pm

    Thanks! for the nice compliment…looks yummy too!

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