Pasta Salad, Eggplant, Peppers, Artichokes, Roasted Garlic Dressing
Pasta Salad, Eggplant, Peppers, Artichokes, Roasted Garlic Dressing.
It’s unclear where this recipe evolved but it sure has been a dish with enough happy taste testers to make an occasional repeat performance over a broad range of gatherings for somewhere around thirty years!
From potlucks and tailgating, to one of the featured salads served alongside a whole grilled beef tenderloin for my sister Carolyn’s Birthday celebration at our recent bi-annual family reunion down the Jersey shore, this tasty side certainly dishes up a classic combination of enduring flavors with a nice little added twist.
Generally, the roasted garlic combined with fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing is like the secret sauce that provides the not quite so easily distinguished taste and flavor depth that sets it apart from pasta salad with more commonly dressed ingredients.
I’m so pleased to finally be able to share the recipe with you today after a couple of delays here and there. In the midst of my usual multi tasking and be-bopping around to household details, I, one morning, moving at my usual faster than light speed, took a nice tumble down the second story steps of my house with an oversized basket of laundry causing a loud cracking sound in my back as descending stairs while continuously whacking by step into the wide woodwork lining the banister.
It is rather fascinating what goes through ones mind in such an occurrence between screaming while simultaneously thinking ‘I just have to get down the shore to say good bye to my sister Carolyn and brother in-law Roger before they went back to Vegas and, I broke my collarbone.’ Thank God. I didn’t.
I was miraculously able to get up even in such a state of shock but was down for the count with Advil’s and a constant heating pad for the remainder of the day. I literally laid against the heating pad in the passenger seat the very next day going down the shore and avoided carrying any beach chairs over the next couple of days. I gratefully got to enjoy and see Carolyn and Roger off to a farewell following a very fun two weeks.
Gradually feeling better each day, the back pain and tightness earlier required a bit too much energy for me to shop, prep, cook and photograph all in a day.
I’m not sour lemons for things could have been far worse, and I am very, very grateful it was not. Meanwhile, Spiced Peach Blog’s 4th anniversary then came and went without so much as even a post, let alone some fun peach recipe, and certainly not any peach picking.
In the end it just goes to show you that no matter from steps to shore there was no deterring photographing and sharing this old time favorite: Pasta Salad, Eggplant, Peppers, Artichokes, Roasted Garlic Dressing.
From your potluck and gathering of friends, to the tailgate or family reunion, here’s to one enduring Pasta Salad that continues to be much enjoyed by all!
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 red and 1 green pepper, seeds and pith removed, sliced around a quarter inch thick lengthwise
- 1 red onion, end removed, cut in half through the root, peeled then sliced lengthwise into quarter inch half moons
- 10 tablespoons olive oil, plus, approximately
- 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered, tossed with a tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper
- 5 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 12 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
- 3/4 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, plus a bit more to desired taste
- few grinds fresh cracked black pepper
- For the Roasted Garlic Dressing:
- 1 small head garlic
- juice from 1 lemon, strained
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- good pinch or two coarse kosher salt
- Preparing the Roasted Eggplant: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut off both ends of the eggplant, slice lengthwise, then slice pieces in half lengthwise giving you long strips. Toss eggplant strips with 4-6 tablespoons olive oil, a couple pinches coarse kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast eggplant until softened throughout, around 40 minutes or longer, transfer to a large sized bowl
- Preparing the Roasted Garlic: Once eggplant is in the oven, place the whole head of garlic into a small bowl close to the size of the garlic, add around 5-7 tablespoons water to cover the bottom of the dish, tightly cover with aluminum foil and place into the oven set on a baking sheet, roast until soft, around 30 minutes, set covered for ten minutes, remove the garlic meat from around the cooked papery skin covering, squeeze into a very tiny bowl, cover, set aside
- Preparing the Roasted Garlic Dressing: Spoon roasted garlic into the bowl of a mini food processor, pulse a few times until smooth then pour in the lemon juice, pulse to combine. Add the olive oil a little at a time in a stream while pulsing the mixture to incorporate and emulsify the dressing, add in a good pinch salt, pulse, check seasoning adjust to taste. Use a spatula to transfer dressing to a small bowl
- Preparing the Peppers and Onions: Heat a large sized saute pan on medium heat, once hot, add a few tablespoons olive oil then tumble in the peppers and onions, sprinkle with a good pinch coarse kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper, saute until peppers and onions begin to slightly blister and brown in parts, combine with the roasted eggplant.
- Stir the seasoned, quartered, artichoke hearts into the eggplant, peppers and onions Mixture
- Cook fettuccine in well salted rapidly boiling water until el dente, drain, rinse with cool water, stir through a couple tablespoons olive oil and a couple good pinches kosher salt before blending together with the vegetables mixture.
- Assembling the Pasta Salad: Pour most of the Roasted Garlic Dressing throughout the pasta and vegetables, check seasoning, adjust to taste. Sprinkle over the parsley and basil, stir well throughout. Serve pasta salad at room temperature.
- Refresh pasta with remaining dressing just before serving