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).
- 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
Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Set aside.
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.
Place bell papers, onions and zucchini on one sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to coat veggies with oil.
Place carrots on the second pan. Drizzle with honey and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to coat. Place mushrooms on the last pan and drizzle with olive oil. Stir to coat.
Scatter each pan with a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
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.
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.
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 the oven for 6-7 minutes or until beginning to shrivel slightly. Remove from the oven and set aside. 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.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side salad