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Grilled Vegi Pasta Salad

Last night was BBQ night at my house. I love grilled vegetables and it’s always nice to find BBQ recipes that aren’t’ meat based. Granted I served this dish with a side of home-made turkey and Portobello mushroom burgers, but shhhh.

This recipe is strangely good. I say strangely because I didn’t think it was exceptionally delicious and yet Mel and I couldn’t stop eating it. We kept going back for seconds and thirds and then just start dipping our forks into the bowl because we were so full but wanted to keep taking bites. I guess what I am saying is this recipe is worth a try.

Grilled vegi pasta salad

2 medium zucchini, sliced into long 1/4-inch strips

1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rings

2 bell peppers, seeds removed and quartered

1 pint cherry tomatoes

3/4 pound pasta (fusilli or penne work well)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lemony-Basil Dressing

2/3 cup basil leaves

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon honey, plus more to taste

2 teaspoons lemon peel

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil, plus more if needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large bowl of salted water to a boil then cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare an outdoor grill or barbecue (medium heat).

Toss vegetables with 2 tablespoons of oil then season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables, turning occasionally, until cooked through and edges are beginning to brown; 8 to 10 minutes. Cut vegetables into 1/2-inch pieces. (If using a grill pan, you might need to grill vegetables in batches).

Prepare Lemony Basil Dressing

Blend basil, mustard, honey, lemon peel and the lemon juice in a processor or blender, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil and blend until creamy. (If the dressing is too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more olive oil). Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine cooked and drained pasta, cherry tomatoes and grilled vegetables in a large bowl. Mix in enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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