Salad

Roasted vegetables pasta salad

Pasta salad

Have you ever opened your refrigerator and stood there staring at it trying to figure out what to cook for lunch or dinner? This afternoon I was doing the exact same, racking my brains as I stared at the vegetable drawer. There was one zucchini, half a bell pepper, few mushrooms hiding in the back staring back at me…like saying “pick me, pick me!!” So I took them all out, washed them and gave them a makeover with the help of some pasta and few other simple ingredients! Don’t be scared to play around with your food, as you never know you might end up creating a masterpiece:)

My creation today is roasted vegetables pasta salad lightly tossed with pesto sauce and feta cheese. I love the enhanced flavors of roasted/grilled vegetables so I use them in lot of my dishes. I had some leftover spiced walnuts that I have used as a garnish. This salad can be used as a side dish or an entrée! Perfect as a summer salad for next barbecue party:)

Servings: 2                    Level: Easy                         Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise and quartered into big chunks

½ Red bell pepper, cut lengthwise and quartered into big chunks

½ medium red onion, cut lengthwise

4 baby bella mushrooms, cut in half

6-8 broccoli florets

1 garlic pod, sliced in half

4 Oz Tri color rotini pasta (you can use any pasta for this salad)

1 Tbsp. Pesto sauce

6-8 Pimiento Olives, sliced

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. crumbled Feta cheese

1 Tbsp. spiced walnuts

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 tsp. lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 °F (250 C).
  2. Cut vegetables as mentioned above.
  3. Toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Roast them at 500 for 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. They should have some crunch!
  5. Cook pasta as per the directions on the box. Drain and toss them with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.
  6. Mix the pasta, roasted veggies, pesto sauce, red pepper flakes, pimiento olives and feta cheese lightly.
  7. Garnish with spiced walnuts and enjoy!!

Pasta salad2

Notes

  • Add sunflower seeds instead of walnuts as a garnish for extra crunch!
  • Try this with left over grilled vegetables…yum!
  • If you don’t have pesto sauce, enjoy it with your favorite vinaigrette or dressing!
  • You can broil the vegetables for 5 minutes instead of roasting if you like extra firm vegetables!
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