Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grilled and Chilled Veggie Pasta Salad with Basil dressing

This was a fun one! It's super simple to replicate, and easy to change up depending on what you have in your fridge and your pantry. You can use the basil dressing as a marinade, to coat lettuce for a green salad, drizzled over fish, or eaten straight out of the bowl with a spoon (yes, I have been known to do this...shhhhhh). I used orzo, but any small bite sized pasta would work just as well. 

To start, bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and add in one package of orzo. After cooking for about 7 minutes, remove pasta, rinse with cold water (I only rinse my pasta if I am going to chill it, the cold water helps the pasta not stick together in one large pasta blob, otherwise it's a no-no). When pasta reaches room temperature, remove from cold water, drain and place in bowl. Drizzle a small amount of grapeseed oil over pasta, toss, and refrigerate.

For the dressing:


10 large basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon honey
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
A dash of salt and pepper
1/2 cup white balsamic dressing
1/3 cup grapeseed oil


Combine all ingredients except for oil in a blender. Blend until combined. While blender runs on low, slowly drizzle in oil, only until mixture is combined.

Reserve at least 1/2 cup of dressing, and refrigerate. Toss pasta with just enough dressing to coat, and return to fridge. Let pasta sit in fridge for a bit to absorb flavor. 

For Veggies:


4 assorted varieties of summer squash, thinly sliced
6 green onions
1 bunch of pencil asparagus
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil


In a large ziplock baggy add vegetables, oil, and vinegar. Sprinkle in a dash of salt and pepper. Close bag and shake to coat. Let vegetables rest for at least 30 minutes at room temp.

Heat indoor grill pan to medium. Grill veggies until barely tender, about 4-6 minutes a side. Veggies should have slight-brown grill marks, but not be falling apart. Cool. 

Cut asparagus into bite sized pieces, squash into strips, and slice the green onions.

To composes salad. Chiffonade 10 fresh basil leaves, and add to pasta. Add veggies to pasta. Add leftover salad dressing to pasta dish, 1/4 cup at a time, tasting I between additions, to make sure that salad is not overdressed. Refrigerate until serving time.

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