Saturday, July 24, 2010

All Those Veggies

What to do with all those summer veggies?  I'm already at zucchini overload and we have a long way to go before our weekly surplus starts to diminish.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining over here.  I'll be fantasizing about all this zucchini come December.  But using all these veggies is a particular challenge when its too hot to turn on the oven.  We try to use our window AC as little as possible, and our basement apartment generally stays pretty cool.  But this summer has been brutal.  Out kitchen's been averaging 80º without the oven on (I can't even make ice cream in it!).  So I devised a grilled veggie pasta recipe that uses everything that's perfectly in season: eggplant, tomatoes, and summer squash, oh my!
All of these are simply grilled and whirled into a chunky sauce in the food processor.  I left some of the eggplant and squash cut into chunks and not blended for a contrast of textures.

Roughly chopped olives and few large caper berries are added for flavor, along with a good handful of sliced basil from my herb garden.
You do need to turn on the stove to boil water for the pasta.  But that only raised the temperature in my kitchen to about 82º.

This is a beautiful, fresh dish, perfect for a weeknight summer dinner.  You could easily add or substitute any vegetable that holds up well on the grill.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta
serves 2
1 medium Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 medium summer squash or zucchini, halved lengthwise
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, halved through center
2 Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 servings short pasta of your choice (I used farro rigatoni) 
good handful pitted olives, roughly chopped
2 Tbs sliced fresh basil

  • Light grill and heat on medium-high
  • Brush vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Grill vegetables until lightly charred and softened, about 10 minutes, turning once
  • Meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta until al dente.  Drain and set aside
  • Remove vegetables from grill and cool slightly.  Cut eggplant and squash into bite-sized chunks and core tomatoes
  • Place tomatoes and  and half of eggplant into food processor, and whir until pureed but still chunky.  Add balsamic vinegar and parmesan and process until just combined
  • Return pasta to cooking pot and stir in sauce, remaining chopped vegetables, olives and basil.  Heat over low heat if its become a little cool
  • Serve with additional parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and passed along the side

1 comment:

  1. That looks sooo good - you have me craving pasta right now :)