Summer Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

This recipe is taken from The New Vegetarian Grill by Andrea Chesman.  I love the BBQ flavours in this pasta salad, along with the fresh basil!  A vegetable grill rack is a must in this recipe.



1 pound rotini, shells, or other short pasta shape
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium-size zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium-size onion, diced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup black brined-cured olives, such as kalamata
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, oregano, summer savory, tarragon, thyme, or a combination)

1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill with a lightly oiled vegetable grill rack in place. 
2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until just tender.  Drain and rinse thoroughly to cool.  Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
3.  Combine the zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl.  Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; toss to coat.
4.  Lift half of the vegetables out of the marinade with a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer to the grill rack.  Grill, tossing frequently with tongs or a couple of spatulas, until the vegetables are tender and grill-marked, 5 to 10 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl with the pasta.  Repeat with the remaining vegetables.
5.  Scrape any remaining marinade into the salad.  Add the olives and herbs.  Toss to mix well.  Season with salt and pepper and add additional lemon juice, if desired.  Serve immediately. 

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