I put this salad together on a whim a few weeks ago following a craving, and we liked it so much that we’ve been making it a bunch ever since. It’s nothing fancy – just some sweet, roasted summer veg tossed with pasta, chickpeas, basil, olives, and a three ingredient dressing. This is about as much effort as I like to put into cooking in the summer, and the extra flavorful, sun-fed produce really allows for that.
This salad packs up nicely, which makes it a great thing to bring to an outdoor gathering or the beach. It also gets better with time, as it has a chance to sit and marinate, so it’s a great make-ahead option for all your summer plans. Hope you’ll give it a try!
- 1 medium zucchini - sliced into half moons
- 1 medium summer squash - sliced into half moons
- 2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers - seeded and sliced into 1-inch chunks
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling the vegetables
- zest and juice from 1 large lemon
- 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 10 oz pasta of choice
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas (or 1¾ cup cooked chickpeas)
- heaping ½ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives or other olives of choice
- a few large handfuls fresh basil - torn or sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C).
- Put the zucchini, squash, and bell peppers on a large, parchment-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil, mixing well to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, then mix and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until soft.
- Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl for serving the pasta salad. In the bottom of the bowl, combine the lemon zest, juice, and mustard, whisking to combine. Stream in ¼ cup of olive oil while whisking, until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix to combine.
- Boil a pot of well-salted water for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the timing on the package. Drain and add the pasta to the bowl with the dressing, followed by the roasted vegetables, chickpeas, olives, and basil. Mix well to coat everything in the dressing. Let the salad cool at room temperature for a few minutes, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill the salad for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. It will get even better with time. Enjoy the salad cold.
This ebook is a collection of straightforward, plant-based recipes for busy people who love to cook. Each recipe was developed to be weeknight-friendly, with shorter cooking times and easier prep. Whole, plant foods are featured prominently throughout the ebook and make up the bulk of these vibrant, weeknight meals.