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Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Toasted Almond Vinaigrette

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Toasted Almond Vinaigrette

This fantastic Mediterranean pasta recipe is garnished with feta cheese, toasted almonds, basil and a dash of lemon.

Yield: 6 servings
Skill Level: Advanced

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup Fisher® Chef’s Naturals Slivered Almonds, toasted
  • 2½ cups uncooked shell shaped pasta
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 oz. each)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • ¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in one layer on ungreased shallow baking pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Set aside.
  2. In small bowl combine lemon juice, water, and parsley. Whisk in olive oil until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Bring salted water to a boil in covered saucepan. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  4. In shallow bowl place chicken breasts and ¼ cup lemon juice. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat 1-2 minutes. Add chicken to skillet; cook 4 to 6 minutes turning once until center of chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken; set aside to cool before cutting into bite size pieces.
  6. In medium bowl combine cooked pasta, onion, tomatoes, spinach, olives and chicken pieces; mix well.
  7. Pour dressing over salad; toss to combine.
  8. Garnish with feta cheese, toasted almonds, basil and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

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