Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette
1poundfusilliI use Tinkyada’s brown rice spirals
2sweet bell peppers
2zucchiniabout 6 inches long
1clovegarliccrushed (I use a microplane)
For the vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper
Cook pasta according to the package’s directions. When done, drain and rinse under cold water.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and crushed garlic in a small bowl. Whisk thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste.
Next we need to grill the veggies. The bell peppers take the longest, just put them straight on the grill over high heat and lightly char all the sides. Once they are fairly black all over, put them aside and pull the stems out to help them cool faster. When they are cool enough to handle, the skins should slip off easily. Scrape out the seeds and cut them into 1 inch chunks (As a side note, I use my kitchen shears for all the cooked vegetables in this recipe. It saves me from a messy cutting board, and makes the slippery veggies easier to manage).
Slice the zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch slices. Rub them with the olive oil and crushed garlic and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Grill them over medium/high heat until they have nice grill marks and are soft. Cut into 1 inch chunks.
The cherry tomatoes are easiest to manage on bamboo skewers, they cook fairly quickly over medium/high heat. Take them off once they start getting some black spots and look squishy. Cut tomatoes in half.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta and roasted veggies. Add the basil, either snipping or tearing it into small pieces, and crumble in the feta. Pour the vinaigrette over and give it all a good toss. Have a taste and add more salt or pepper if you want to.
Serve warm or cold.
For variations, try the following: - Instead of the zucchini, you can use any other summer squash or some eggplant. Grill in the same way with the garlic and olive oil. -You can substitute 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and the zest of one lemon for the balsamic vinegar. -This is fantastic with pieces grilled chicken or sausage. -The basil can be swapped out for fresh oregano. -Pine nuts, minced shallots, or kalamata olives go great in here.