Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Pasta Salad

 Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables and Pearl Pasta - flavorful, healthy and hearty all at the same time! The vegetables are deliciously caramelized and the pearl pasta makes it a complete meal!

Do you ever wish you could be a mouse in someone else’s house?  You probably would have been a laughing mouse had you been there, peeping out of your little mouse hole (nibbling, on a few spheres of tender pearl pasta that had inadvertently rolled your way) and watching Scott and I as we sat down to enjoy this Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Pasta Salad. We’d just finished photographing it and were starving. Well, maybe it’s better to say that I was starving. Scott said the blessing and I immediately began devouring. He was distracted by something on his computer (yes, we were having lunch on the couch).

 Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables and Pearl Pasta - flavorful, healthy and hearty all at the same time! The vegetables are deliciously caramelized and the pearl pasta makes it a complete meal!
I’m savoring each bite. “Oh, my Goodness!” “Wow!” He’s still looking at the computer. “This is amazing!” “I love it!” His brow is wrinkled a bit as he’s studying the screen. I’m trying to get his attention. “Honey, we’re supposed to be eating. Try this, it’s super amazing!” “I’m thinking this might be one of my favorite things EVER!” “You’re going to flip when you try this one.” After another minute or so, he looks at me and says, “You make me laugh.” Finally, he picks up his fork and takes a bite. “Mmmm, it is really good”. He proceeds to eat every last bit, looks up and says “Really good.”
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables and Pearl Pasta - flavorful, healthy and hearty all at the same time! The vegetables are deliciously caramelized and the pearl pasta makes it a complete meal!
I do tend to get a little more excited than the average Joe about recipes that are crazy-good; like this Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Pasta Salad. I guess that’s why I started The Café in the first place, just to be able to share with folks like you how fun, interesting and delicious food can be. Just simple, everyday ingredients like carrots, onions, peppers, mushrooms roasted, with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, until tender and caramelized. And tiny pearl pasta simmered in chicken broth till perfectly al dente. All these wonderful ingredients married together with a delicious olive oil, lemon and herb dressing. I mean what’s there not to get excited about??
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables and Pearl Pasta - flavorful, healthy and hearty all at the same time! The vegetables are deliciously caramelized and the pearl pasta makes it a complete meal!
 Whether you get crazy-excited about crazy-good food like I do, or your more normal like Scott, you won’t want to miss this fabulous, healthy salad!
P.S. We enjoyed this salad two days in a row for lunch. It was just as delicious and looked as bright and vibrant the second day ……….. which means you can make it in the morning or even the day before for and effortless dinner. Serve it on it’s own with a loaf of warm, crusty bread or as a side to any type of grilled, roasted or pan-seared entree.
Oh, and be sure to throw the mouse a little of the leftovers…… he’s hungry too, for goodness sakes!
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Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Pasta Salad

4.8 from 4 reviews

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Pasta Salad – healthy, tons of flavor, beautiful to present!

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • fine zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil, see instructions for amounts
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, halved if large
  • 2 medium bell peppers or 8-10 mini bell peppers, color of your choice – I used the minis in yellow, orange and red
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved, each half cut in quarters.
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, peeled, halved, each half cut in quarters.
  • 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch diagonal slices
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 ½ cups pearl pasta (also known as Israeli couscous), cooked according to package directions using chicken broth instead of water.
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper or foil. Allow parchment paper/foil to extend over the edges of the pans.
  3. Place bell papers, onions and zucchini on one sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to coat veggies with oil.
  4. Place carrots on the second pan. Drizzle with honey and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to coat.4. Place mushrooms on the last pan and drizzle with olive oil. Stir to coat.
  5. Scatter each pan with a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Place all three pans into preheated oven with mushrooms on the lowest rack. Roast for 10 minutes then stir each pan to redistribute vegetables. Return carrots and mushrooms pans to the oven. Pan with onions, peppers and zucchini should be done at this point. If zucchini is still not tender return it to the oven for another minute or two or until tender but not mushy.
  7. Roast carrots another 8-10 minutes or until tender. Mushrooms will take 15-20 longer minutes and should be deep golden brown when finished.8. Combine cooked couscous, roasted veggies and spinach in a large bowl.
  8. Leave the parchment paper or foil on one of the pans and add tomatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tilt pan several times to coat tomatoes with oil. Place in oven for 6-7 minutes or until beginning to shrivel slightly. Remove from oven and set aside.11. Add dressing to pasta mixture in bowl. Stir gently to distribute. Taste, add salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a serving dish or platter and scatter with the cherry tomatoes.
  9. Serves 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side salad


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