Thursday, July 9, 2015

Caesar Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Perfect Pairing: Yogurt based Caesar dressing

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Pasta salads can be so bad.  Rarely, rarely do I like pasta salads from restaurants or grocery store delis.  They all have the same odd taste and are just not worth the calories.  There ARE good pasta salads out there though!  I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but this one is really good.  I think I just did it anyway.


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Grape tomatoes, whole button mushrooms, and sweet onions are grilled then tossed with pasta, arugula, and a super simple dressing.


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The dressing is made with store-bought Caesar dressing.  I used this yogurt variety so it was a little lower in calories and fat.  The dressing is whisked with pesto and fresh lemon juice.  If you happen to have an abundance of homemade pesto stocked in your freezer (I’m so jealous) use that, but feel free to use store-bought pesto here.


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We ate this while it was still slightly warm.  YUM.  It was also great leftover chilled.  It would be fantastic with grilled chicken or steak for a full meal. 


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One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Avocado and Strawberry Toast with Feta and Honey

Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Thai Peanut Pasta Salad

Three years ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Grapefruit Margaritas



Caesar Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing



Ingredients:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 16 oz button mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 oz pasta (penne, rigatoni, farfalle, etc.)
  • ½ cup Caesar dressing (like this)
  • 3 Tb basil pesto (store-bought is fine)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 oz arugula


Directions:

Preheat the grill to a medium high heat.  Toss the tomatoes, mushrooms, and onion in a large bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a greased grill basket and grill until the tomatoes just begin to burst and the onions start to char, about 15-25 minutes.

While the veggies are grilling cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain.  In a small bowl combine the Caesar dressing, pesto, and lemon juice, whisk to combine.  Toss the pasta with the grilled vegetables and dressing until coated.  Add in the arugula and stir lightly.  Serve slightly warm, room temperature, or cold.  Great with grilled chicken or steak!


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