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Char-Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

IMG_4438When I started corresponding with my California cousin, I requested summer salad recipes that included fresh vegetables.  I wanted to make a fresh vegetable salad recipe but so many that we use in the South include mayonnaise and are actually quite similar. Now being a Southern girl, I am not bashing mayonnaise at all.  A fresh tomato sandwich with Duke’s mayonnaise is a southern tradition.

I received this recipe from my cousin and loved it.  I prepared it for us and it makes a huge portion.  I used the whole wheat penne pasta and I gave Mr. D the task of grilling the vegetables while I prepared the pasta so it was a fairly easy recipe to make.  The blending of the olive oil, pesto, lemon juice and spices in the salad is exceptional.  The charred vegetables and corn gives it a little crunch.  It will definitely be something I will make again.

Char-Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

1 box whole penne pasta

½ cup of olive oil/divided

1 each:  yellow squash, zucchini, large bell pepper, 1 ear corn, l large tomato

1 Tbsp. pesto sauce

1 lemon juiced and zest of one lemon

1 pinch salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder.

Handful of chopped parsley

Cook pasta until el dente, drain and toss with ¼ cup of olive oil

Using a grill pan on stove or outdoor grill:  grill squash, zucchini and bell pepper.  Let cool.  Meanwhile shave corn off cob and then dice all vegetables including the tomato.

Toss vegetables and pasta together in large bowl.  Add pesto, lemon zest, lemon juice and remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and spices.  Toss all together and garnish with parsley.

You can add diced chicken or ham to the dish to make a great meal.

I think this would be good for any summertime meal and I am so thankful to my California cousin for inspiring me to try new things.  Is it Southern? Probably not but he does live in Southern California.

Thanks for stopping by.

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