Hi. I’m going to prove to you that I do much more than come up with cocktail recipes (and then drink them). I’m big into eating.
It’s been summer for a while now and I finally got my ass to the Farmer’s Market today. Sheesh, what a bum. But I was hungry and craving something fresh so I took the boys to buy some veggies.
I love love love love love love pasta. I can’t help. It’s the Italian girl in me who can down a plate of spaghetti like a champ. As I was thinking about veggies, I was also considering that I wanted something else to fill up my belly. Usually pasta salads are my go-to dinners in the heat of summer. Just cook up a pot of noodles, mix up some veggies and meat and stick it in the fridge for a chilled feast. But I wanted something new, and different. I went to the Farmer’s Market with the idea that I would use whatever was in season today. The kiddos and I picked up fresh basil, yellow, orange, red and green cherry tomatoes, green and yellow zucchini and a head of cauliflower. We were going to eat the rainbow!
I let the boys inspect the veggies for freshness and pay the for the food, especially because they have become obsessed with money, how it is worth different amounts and getting change back. I figured that would be my mothering for a bit because when we got home, I pushed them out of the kitchen and into a pile of Legos so I could cook. Mother of the Year.
When we got home I immediately started the grill because I was gonna grill these suckas! The “suckas” being the veggies. A grilled vegetable pasta salad was on my mind. )For the record, I lurve charcoal grilling 894 times more than gas.) So while the charcoal was burning, I got the water on the stove and washed my veggies. I also made tin foil “pans” to cook the veggies in while on the grill so the veggies wouldn’t fall into the fire or the olive oil wouldn’t spill out. (I basically folded up all 4 edges and creased them into corners, forming a tray.)
Once everything was cooked/grilled, I put it all together in a bowl and had a bite. HEAVEN! FRESH! SUMMER! I was pleased…but I had to scoop some for the harshest critics in the house…the 7 & 4 year olds. They loved it, which was good because I had a good amount of balsamic vinegar in there and was wondering what their reaction would be. The money-obsessed little monsters wanted more mouthfuls! I would say that this is a kid-friendly dish, if your kids like the veggies you add. So feel free to customize the vegetable mix to suit your tastes. Hell, I can see some shredded chicken breasts going in here and really knocking some socks off.
Enough writing, here is how I did it:
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
1 lb box of pasta, cooked and rinsed
1 small head of cauliflower, cut in to small bites
4 small zucchinis, sliced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 small bunch of fresh basil, torn
garlic, 2 cloves minced (I love it and use more)
2 tbsp olive oil
4-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water and rinse with cool water. Set aside. Grill zucchinis in a in foil pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic and salt and pepper, about 10 minutes on grill. Do the same for the cauliflower, about 15-20 minutes on grill. Add cherry tomatoes to tin pan of cauliflower for the last 5 minutes to warm up or just place directly on hot grill to blister. When all of the veggies are grilled, mix in large bowl with the pasta. Add the balsamic vinegar and gently stir. Sprinkle some Parmesan or Romano cheese on top and enjoy.
It’s delicious right off the grill and still warm. Also can be refrigerated and eaten chilled. Stays 1-2 days in refrigerator. You can make the veggies in the oven if you don’t have access to a grill. Substitute rice for pasta if you are anti-carbs.