September 2, 2011

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

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Hey there! I’m Lauren, one of the newest members of the Potluck team. When I’m not here, you can find me over on my blog Healthy. Delicious. where I aim to show people that cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating and that it’s possible to eat healthily while still enjoying food.

I have to say, I’m super excited to be a part of the Potluck family. We actually don’t have a ShopRite here in the Albany are of New York yet, but I’m really looking forward to the opening of our brand new store this fall in Niskayuna. I had the opportunity to tour a ShopRite in Westchester recently and I was really impressed with what they had to offer. (I still can’t get over the fact that they have store brand San Marzano tomatoes – I can’t wait to use them in my favorite saffron tomato sauce.)

I was sent home from my tour with a bag of goodies to play with, and it didn’t take me long at all to break into the basting oil and balsamic vinegar. Grilled vegetables in an oil and balsamic marinade is one of my absolute favorite summertime dishes. Sometimes I eat them plain as a side dish, but for this recipe I added them to a kicked up pasta salad with salami and fresh mozzarella. The salad is really easy to throw together, but the herbs from the basting oil along with the vegetables really make it something special. I served it with some spice-rubbed chicken thighs for a dinner that was perfect in the July heat.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

You can use whatever vegetables look good to you in this salad, but my favorite combination is a mix of zucchini, eggplant, and red peppers.

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 red peppers, cut into strips
  • 4 Tablespoons basting oil
  • 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta
  • 4 ounces hard salami, diced
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste

Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and let cool.

Meanwhile add the vegetables, basting oil, and balsamic vinegar to a large bowl. Let the vegetable sit for 10 minutes to soak up some of the marinade.

Heat your grill to medium hot. Add the vegetables to a grill basket and place on the grill. (If you don’t have a grill basket, use a packet made of foil so the veggies don’t fall through the grates.) Cook the vegetables, turning occasionally, until they have softened – about 10 minutes.

Toss the vegetables together with the cooked pasta, salami, mozzarella, and basil. Season to taste with red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Important note: As a Potluck blogger, I received the basting oil and balsamic vinegar  from ShopRite for free.