Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumbers and Artichoke Hearts

·         ½ cup fruity olive oil
·         1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
·         4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
·         2 tablespoons dry oregano
·         1 teaspoon kosher salt
·         1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
·         1 pound pasta noodles cooked, drained and cooled*
·         2 15- ounce cans quartered artichoke hearts in brine drained
·         1 12- ounce jar roasted red bell peppers slivered or chopped
·         1 8- ounce jar kalamata olives halved
·         1 hot house cucumber cut into 3/8" slices
·         ¼ red onion thinly sliced
·         1 cup crumbled feta cheese
·         1/3 cup fresh slivered or chopped basil leaves

1.       To make the dressing, in a small bowl or a jar fitted with a lid, add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and whisk well to combine. Let sit at room temperature for flavors to blend.
2.      Add the cooked pasta, artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, olives, cucumber, onion, and half of the feta cheese to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently to mix. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper or more olive oil if needed. Add the rest of the feta cheese to the top of the pasta salad and top with more fresh basil if desired. Let the flavors sit for ½ hour before serving or overnight.

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