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Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Eggplant & Basil

Serves 6-8

2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound total), cut into     
    
1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to brush
    
    
on eggplant
1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 medium cloves garlic, divided, minced or put          
    
through garlic press
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound short, bite-sized pasta such as fusilli, farfalle,
or bowtie
2 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch
chunks
15 fresh basil leaves, shredded

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot over high
heat. Meanwhile, brush eggplant with olive oil to coat
very lightly and toss with salt and pepper to taste. Ei-
ther grill eggplant until marked with dark stripes on
both sides, about 15 minutes, or broil on baking sheet
placed 4 inches from heating element, turning once,
until tender and browned, about 7 minutes; cool to
room temperature.

2. Whisk lemon juice and zest, 3/4 teaspoon salt, clove
garlic, and red pepper flakes in large bowl; whisk in 1/
2 cup oil in slow, steady stream until smooth.

3. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water.
Cook until pasta is al dente and drain. Whisk dressing
again to blend; add hot pasta, cooled eggplant, tomato,
remaining garlic, and basil; toss to mix thoroughly.

Cool to room temperature, adjust seasonings, and serve.(Can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 day; return to room temperature before serv-
ing.)