Grilled Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Grilled Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

After the pool party we recently hosted, we had lots of leftover grilled vegetables. Pasta salads are a great way to make use of leftover veggies, so today I prepared some for the family. It was really easy; all I needed to do was boil some pasta and add some salad dressing to it.

This time around I made a spicy salad dressing that I drizzled over fusilli pasta, roasted bell peppers, grilled eggplant, grilled Portobello mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. This meal met everyone's diet, except for my father-in-law who's allergic to mushrooms (no meat, not nuts, no eggs), so I placed the grilled mushrooms on the side.

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

1 (16-ounce) package fusilli pasta, cooked and cooled to room temperature
juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon curly parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 Portobello mushrooms
1 eggplant
3 red and green bell peppers
4 zucchini
2 yellow squash
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ cup maple salad dressing
1 tablespoon Tabasco (optional)
½ teaspoon black pepper


Directions

Roasting the bell peppers: Cut the stems off the peppers. Wash them, pat dry and brush with oil. Place a grill on your stove and char all the skin of the peppers. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle them without discomfort. Clean the peppers using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed them and cut them into thin long strips. Set aside.

Prepping the Portobello mushrooms: Using the edge of a spoon, scrape and remove the gills of the mushrooms. Wipe the inside clean using a paper towel (see tips). Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil. Place the whole mushrooms on a hot grill. Cook until you get grill marks on both sides. Remove from the grill. Once the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, cut into long strips. Set aside.

For the grilled eggplant, zucchini and squash: Trim the vegetables and cut lengthwise into long slices. Layer a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (to collect the excess moisture). Place the slices on the rack. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Pat dry using a paper towel. Brush a hot griddle pan with olive oil. Drizzle oil on the slices. Place the slices on the griddle. Cook until you get grill marks (about 3-4 minutes on each side) on medium heat. Remove from the pan. Coarsely cut the grilled veggies into 1 to 1-½" chunks. Set aside.

Making the spicy pasta salad dressing:

In a bowl, combine the maple dressing with Tabasco (if used). Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Assembly time:

Place the cooked fusilli pasta with parsley in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice. Add the roasted bell peppers, Portobello mushrooms, grilled veggies and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss well.

Serve at room temperature with the salad dressing on the side.

Bon appétit!


Tips

Removing the gills of Portobello mushrooms helps maintain a light color for the pasta salad. If you don't, the dish will turn dark once you add the cooked mushrooms. This step is only for an aesthetic, appealing presentation.

If you're a pasta lover, check out my other pasta dishes.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 26, 2010.


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