Mediterranean pasta salad for a lighter meal on Meatless Monday
No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.
This pasta salad is filling enough to serve as an entree, but it will also work as a side. It's easy to prepare and can be served warm or cold; the roasted eggplant and the olives both add a meaty texture that's sure to satisfy.
You will need:
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 small eggplant
4 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup orzo pasta
1 red bell pepper
1 8-ounce jar pitted olives (kalamata olives are used here, but green olives work, too)
2 teaspoons capers
1 container grape tomatoes
Several parsley leaves (1/3 cup or so)
Ground black pepper to taste
If you don't want to go fully vegan with this recipe, you can also add some crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Spread the pine nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven for about five minutes, until fragrant. After you remove them from the oven, turn the heat up to 450 degrees F.
2. Cut the eggplant into one-inch-thick slices, then into cubes.
3. Place the eggplant in a nine-by-thirteen-inch baking dish and press the garlic over the eggplant.