Grilled vegetables are delicious with chunky pasta in a tangy dressing. Serve this salad as a light lunch or offer it as an accompaniment for grilled poultry or meat, when it will serve 6 or 8.
[cooking_tip]Grilling or baking is a healthy cooking method for vegetables like eggplant, which can absorb large amounts of fat when they are fried or sauteed in oil.[/cooking_tip]
[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”35 min” cook_time=”25 min” serves=”4″ details=”” ]
[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]
- 8 ounces rigatoni
- 1 large red pepper, seeded and halved
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 medium eggplant, trimmed and sliced lengthways
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped capers
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it ” time=”1 hour, plus 30 minutes marinating time”]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Cook the rigatoni in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then drain thoroughly and set aside to cool.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Preheat the broiler or a grill to high. Broil or grill the pepper halves, skin side up, until blistered and blackened, 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a plastic zippered bag, then leave until cool enough to handle.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Broil or grill the tomatoes and eggplant for about 5 minutes. Turn the vegetables so that they cook evenly, and remove the pieces as they are ready. Place the tomato wedges in a large salad bowl. Set the eggplant slices aside on a plate to cool slightly.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Cut the eggplant slices into 1-inch strips and add to the tomatoes. Peel the peppers and cut them into 1-inch strips, then add to the salad bowl. Mix in the pasta.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ]In a small bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar or lemon juice with the olive oil, basil, capers, garlic, if using, and Parmesan cheese. Lightly toss this dressing into the salad. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set the salad aside to marinate for about 30 minutes so that the flavors can infuse before serving.[/step-item]
Some More Ideas
- For a hearty vegetarian main-course salad, stir in 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
- Add grilled zucchini and asparagus. Slice the zucchini lengthways. Grill alongside the eggplant and tomatoes.
- Replace the eggplant with well-drained, bottled artichokes.
[nutrition-info calories=”242″ calories_fat=”63″ fat=”7 g” sat_fat=”2 g” choles=” ” sodium=”137 mg” carbs=”38 g” sugars=”7 g” protein=”8 g” fiber=”4 g”] Excellent source of folate, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin C. Good source of iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6. [/nutrition-info]