Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
The other week when I strolled through the market seeing all the vegetables I got a craving for a salad that a friend’s husband used to make for us. Don’t get fooled by the word salad, though, because this is really a complete meal and not a side salad.
This salad is also best made when the vegetables are fresh from a real grill; as that’s not possible for me the next best thing is an oven-grilled version. I’m not going to lie, though – this takes time. In my oven one sliced aubergine will take up the whole grilling rack, which means grilling one type of veg after the other.
Although this is quite a bit of work – even if said work is done by the oven – it is so worth it. I really love this salad and after making it the other week have vowed to do so more often again.
The type of pasta I use is gemelli – I’m really set in my ways sometimes and don’t want to exchange it for another type. Maybe because it was served with gemelli when I first ate it, or maybe because they’re just perfect for this type of salad.
The vegetables I grill for this salad are: sliced aubergines, sliced courgettes, halved red peppers, and mushrooms. All are brushed with oil and then grilled until slightly blackened, then cooled down and cut into bite-sized pieces.
I usually cook the pasta before I grill the vegetables, because it needs to be lukewarm at the most.
What makes this salad come alive is, of course, the dressing. A bit of salt and freshly ground pepper, some balsamic vinegar, a dash of freshly squeezed lime or lemon, a lot of olive oil – the pasta should look a bit oily – and freshly chopped mint. The mint is an absolute must!
All this mixed together makes for either a (very filling) appetizer before you throw meat on the grill or a full meal on a salad day, and definitely for a great lunch the next day.
I can already visualise myself in summer eating this on the balcony watching the sun disappear around the corner.