Make Ahead

Warm caramelized onion, eggplant and roasted pepper pasta salad

July 24, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

The recipe is adapted from one published in my hometown paper years ago. It was one of those "what-to-do with all that summertime bounty of the garden" recipes. It has been adaptable to substitutions but my favorite is this combination. —mzmecz

What You'll Need
  • On the Grill
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 sweet, yellow pepper
  • 1 sweet, red pepper
  • 2 Poblano peppers
  • On the Stove
  • 3 pounds onions, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 pound pasta (penne or your choice)
  • 12 basil leaves, cut in ribbons
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. On the Grill
  2. Wash the eggplants. You may peel them if you like. I prefer them unpeeled. Slice them crosswise in 1 1/2 inch rounds.
  3. Salt the rounds and allow to weep for 30 min. to 1 hr. (your convenience).
  4. Wash off the salt, pat dry and place in a large ziplock bag with the vinaigrette. Marinate 1-2 hrs.
  5. Heat a grill to high.
  6. Roast the peppers until the skins blister and blacken. Place the peppers in a paper bag and sweat for 10 min.
  7. Turn the grill down to medium-high.
  8. Drain the eggplant slices and grill 3-5 minutes (depending on the heat of your grill) on one side. You want a bit of charring. Flip the slices and grill the other side. The eggplant is done when the center is pierced and the flesh is as tender as fresh baked bread. Undercooked it will be tough and rubbery.
  9. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch cubes. Keep warm.
  10. Peel and seed the peppers. Cut them into bite size pieces. Keep warm.
  1. On the Stove
  2. Heat the olive oil in a very large pan on the stove. The onions may nearly overfill the pan but will cook down to almost nothing.
  3. Saute the onions with frequent stirring until caramelized. If the onions begin to stick add a tablespoon of water and stir to loosen and continue to saute.
  4. When the onions are well browned add the garlic and saute until soft.
  5. Add two Tbsp. of the vinaigrette to deglaze the pan and combine with the onions. Keep warm.
  6. Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.
  7. Drain the pasta and combine with the vegetables, basil and 1/2 cup of vinaigrette.
  8. Serve warm with 1/2 ounce of goat cheese, a sprinkle of pine nuts, a grind of black pepper and additional vinaigrette to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • PattersonCooks
  • mzmecz

2 Reviews

PattersonCooks July 25, 2011
Made this for dinner tonight! It was delicious! I used farro instead of penne. Thanks for the recipe
mzmecz July 28, 2011
Glad you liked it. I take it to summer picnic parties and always get requests for the recipe.