Sunday, July 7, 2013

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

We're having a heat wave in New England and I've been looking for lighter type foods to eat. I know a lot of people are firing up their grills and enjoying steaks and other types of goodies, but I've been staying inside enjoying the AC and nibbling on this delicious roasted vegetable pasta salad. If you're feeling like me, Mrs Plah (thank you Carol for that nickname) you might want to give this Mediterranean inspired salad a try. The salad is not plah at all; it's perfect to fight the heat and still enjoy some healthy vegetables, creamy goat cheese and a spunky dressing that will almost make you forget how hot it is outside. And you know I've made it a simple fix.

Mediterranean Inspired Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

1 8 oz container grape tomatoes
1 8-1/2 oz can quartered artichoke hearts (in water) drained
12-15 Kalamata olives halved
4 scallions chopped
4 oz goat cheese crumbled
1-1/2 cups penne pasta (I love Dreamfields, low carb)
Olive oil or cooking spray
Black pepper
Dash of dried oregano

1 clove garlic chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plus 1 or 2 extra Ts rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Ready to put this quick dish together? Let's go! Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Spritz tomatoes with cooking spray or toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes until they begin to pop a bit and get a little toasty brown.

After I roasted these I decided to roast the artichokes. Why not, I thought, because sometimes artichokes out of a can can taste a bit raw. So do the same thing with the chokes. Roast about 8 minutes and flip them over and cook about 8 minutes more. No raw artichokes invited.

While the chokes are cooking, make your dressing and cook your penne pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions and rinse with cold water. To make the dressing combine all ingredients. I like to make mine in a small jar and shake to combine. Finally, time to assemble this salad. Place all veggies in bowl and add pasta and that very small pinch of oregano.

Crumble your goat cheese, add your dressing, and ta-da! salad is ready to be refrigerated for about a 1/2 hour. Serve and enjoy, and don't let the heat get you down!

Re-Mix: to keep it vegetarian, add a T of capers, they will add a nice kick. And a drained, rinsed can of cannellini beans is great for some extra protein. To make more of a meal of this, add a can or two of tuna or salmon. Or to go another route, add a few chopped hard boiled eggs. Sometimes I find that the pasta soaks up a lot of the dressing, so before serving, add an additional T of olive oil and 2 tsp of vinegar, just to regenerate the salad. In this heat we all need a little regenerating.


Didi Dalaba said...

I'm totally love the goat cheese and the artichokes in this salad Linda dolly!! ♥♥♥

Linda said...

I wuv you Didi and I've missed you. Is it as hot in NY as it is here?

DeeDee2012 said...

What a wonderful summer recipe Linda! Love it!

Linda said...

I hope you try this Diane- I just love a pasta salad with Dijon dressing, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to adding veggies or beans. Enjoy!