Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Pasta Salad

Or I should call it "Summer Vegetable Salad with a Little Pasta" :)  I, like most people, *love* pasta but I really try not to eat too much of it.  So that's why when I make a pasta salad, it is usually mostly veggies with a little pasta :)

But saw what I hauled out of the garden a couple of days ago and I thought the best way to use this wonderful fresh produce was to make a pasta salad.  I have a few lovely Italian white eggplant, some scallopini summer squash, a few Chadwick cherry tomatoes and the first Genovese tomato.

I found a good recipe at and thought with a few adaptations (of course :), it would be perfect with these ingredients.

Pasta Salad with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Basil
2 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
2-4 medium summer squash (any kind will do), cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to brush on vegetables
1/4 cup lemon juice from about 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1-2 medium cloves garlic, divided, minced or put through a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 box short, bite size pasta such as ziti, fusilli, farfalle
2 large tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (I used cherry tomatoes here, about 2 cups)
15 fresh basil leaves, torn

Bring 4 quarts of water in large pot over high heat.  

Meanwhile brush eggplant and squash with olive oil to coat, toss with salt and pepper to taste.  

Grill eggplant and squash until marked with dark stripes on both sides, about 15 minutes. 

 Remove from grill and cool to room temperature.

When vegetables are cool, cut into bite sized pieces.

While eggplant cools, make the dressing.

Whisk lemon juice and zest, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 clove garlic and red pepper flakes in large bowl; whisk in 1/2 cup oil in slow, steady stream until smooth.

Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water.  Cook until pasta is al dente and drain.  Whisk dressing again to blend; add hot pasta, cooled eggplant and squash, remaining garlic and basil; toss to mix thoroughly.  Cool to room temperature; adjust seasonings and serve.  You could add some feta cheese here to guild the lily...which I did :)

Buon Appetito!


  1. That looks amazing! Love the ingredients and the less pasta is better idea....I need to stay away from the stuff.....was it good?

  2. Thanks Rohrerbot! Using more vegetables means you don't really miss the pasta! And it was delicious!! :)

  3. That looks a very attractive dish, Diane. I wouldn't make it though, because I dislike Aubergines / Eggplant. Give me the tomatoes any day! And I'm with you on the Feta cheese; I really love it.
    Do you like Halloumi cheese? It's very good with grilled vegetables.

  4. Yummm!! I eat a lot of veggies and pasta and have a lot of basil at hand so I might make this! I love feta, esp. when it's been made with herbs or pepper. I love to bake so if you ever need/want any cookie recipes, let me know.

  5. Hi Mark...the good thing about this salad is that you can make it with just about *any* summer vegetables! I've never heard of Halloumi cheese! That's why I love conversing with you...I learn so much about new foods!

    Hey TS :) You really should try this one and you can use any vegetables you have on hand! I'd love for you to teach me more about baking. Baking kind of scares me...too exact! But if I need a good cookie recipe, I'll be sure to let you know! Thanks :)

  6. This is on the menu for tomorrow! Yum!! Cooking is alchemy, baking is chemistry. But baking involves chocolate.... :o)