Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pasta Salad: A Great Way to Use Up Leftover Grilled Vegetables

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      So, as you may know, I had a bunch of leftover grilled vegetables in my refridgerator.  I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with them, but I was confident I could come up with something.  As I was trying to come up with a menu for Friday night at the cabin, it suddenly struck me....yes....Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad!  How good does that sound?

     As I was packing up the food before we headed up north, I still wasn't exactly sure what I was going to put in this pasta salad, so I threw a bunch of possiblilities into the cooler.  Pasta of course, cheese, fresh parsley, oil, vinegar, tomatoes...oh and don't forget the grilled veggies.

     So, first of all, I decided that I would dress it with a balsamic vinaigrette and I would add some fresh garlic to the dressing.  Then I thought that some parsley would brighten up the flavors (really any fresh herb would have been good, but that's what I had), grape tomatoes would add some more freshness to the salad, and parmesan cheese, well.....isn't everthing better with cheese?!

     You could definitely expand this recipe and add some chicken to make it a main dish salad.  Or you could toss the veggies with marinara sauce and turn it into a hot pasta dish.  I think either would be delicious

     Overall my menu on Friday night was pretty simple:
  • Grilled hamburgers, with lettuce, tomato and various condiments
  • Corn on the cob
  • Grilled vegetable pasta salad
  • Kettle chips
     It was a lovely evening, so we were able to enjoy our dinner out on the deck.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb pasta (I used Barilla Plus Multigrain), cooked according to package instructions and cooled
  • About 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette (find the recipe on my "A Light Summer Supper Post", but double the quantities and add a clove of minced garlic).
  • About 3 cups grilled vegetables, (any assortment you like) chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Handful of fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Place pasta, grilled veggies and tomatoes in a large serving bowl.

Toss together and then add vinaigrette, a little at a time, until ingredients are nicely coated, but not overly dressed.  Then mix in cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.

There you go, pretty easy and it was a hit with my family.  Try it yourself and see if it's a hit with your family!

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