Methods This salad is made up using the leftover ingredients from the Eggplant Caprese salad featured earlier. It's a great way to repurpose grilled eggplant while not getting burned out on the same ingredients!
Additions Substitute in your favorite grilled or marinated veggies. Think artichoke hearts, spinach, chives, oregano, feta...I find pasta salads to be super versatile.
1 medium zucchini
1 bell pepper (your choice in color)
1 medium (about 1 lb) eggplant
1 large or 2 medium beefsteak tomatoes; or grape or cherry tomatoes
10 oz penne, fusilli or similar pasta
1-4 garlic cloves - depending on how much you love your garlic
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
8 oz ciliegini (mini fresh mozzarella), or fresh mozzarella torn into bite sized pieces
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 cup fresh basil
3/4 cup high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Prepare your grill for medium heat.
With a chef's knife, cut zucchini into wedges and eggplant into 1/4" medallions.
Toss veg with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill over direct heat for approximately 10-12 minutes flip as needed, and let cool.
Cook pasta in saltwater according to directions.
Chop tomatoes into bite sized wedges or cut in 1/2 if they're grape or cherry.
Dice bell peppers.
Slice olives in half.
Thinly chop and mince garlic cloves.
Once cooled, chop zucchini into bite sized wedges and transfer with eggplant into large bowl.
Add tomatoes, cheese, vinegar, thyme, basil and half of the olive oil.
Add drained pasta and mix well to combine.
Add salt and pepper and additional oil/vinegar/herbs to taste as needed.
This is one that tastes better the longer it sits, so don't be afraid to make this ahead of time and let it sit together in the fridge.