Thai Chile and Artichoke Pasta Salad

This unusual combination of ingredients makes a salad that is hearty enough to be served as an entree as well as a side dish. I always prepare this salad a day before I plan to serve it to ensure the flavors are combined. A word of caution though, the salad seems to increase in heat the longer it sits. So make the dressing a little on the mild side or the salad may become too hot to enjoy.

1 6 1/2 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and liquid reserved 2 to 3 Thai chiles, stems removed, or substitute serrano chiles 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh preferred 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 cloves garlic, chopped Freshly ground black pepper 4 cups cooked rotini pasta 2 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach 1/2 cup sliced Kalmata olives 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese Garnish: Chopped fresh parsley

To make the dressing, put two of the artichoke hearts, reserved liquid, chiles, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Coarsely chop the remaining artichoke hearts and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta, spinach, olives and feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine. Cover and chill over night. Garnish with the parsley before serving.

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Heat Scale: Hot

Source : Sea Girl from July of 2006

Contributed by: Edit

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