Yellow Squash Challenge: Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta with Basil

I’ll admit, when I saw the new challenge I thought, “Squash????” I am a big fan of summer squash but it’s something I usually just throw into a dish to add some veggie bulk, not to be the star.  And I already posted one of my favorite squash ideas, Veggie Pizza with Goat Cheese.  I thought about doing a vegetable lasagna, maybe with a pesto sauce, but let’s face it–lasagna is a project and I didn’t have time to do it.

And then it hit me, grill it! Grilling vegetables adds depth and intensifies the flavor. And plus it’s fun to put chunks on skewers, right?  Best of all, it’s quick and great for a weeknight dinner.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta with Basil

  • 4-6 summer squash (I used a mix of local yellow crookneck and zucchini), cut into 1/2 in slices
  • 1/2 medium red or sweet onion, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I used leftover grilled breasts from Falling Sky Farm)
  • 4 servings pasta of your choice (I used orzo)
  • 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 c. basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 c. chopped basil, oregano, and/or italian parsley, to garnish
Start water boiling for pasta and heat grill to medium high heat.  (If a grill is not available, you can use your oven’s broiler or a grill pan.)  Combine vinegar, olive oil, dijon and garlic in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify.  Set aside.  Take prepped and chopped vegetables (squash, onion and tomatoes) and thread them onto skewers.  Brush or spray vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium.  Place skewers on grill and cook, watching closely, until vegetables are wilted and beginning to blacken, about 5-7 minutes for squash and onion, 3-5 minutes for tomatoes.   Remove from grill and cool before removing vegetables from skewers.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain. Combine vegetables, pasta and cooked chicken in a large bowl.  Drizzle with prepared sauce and feta cheese and toss to combine.  Garnish with chopped herbs and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled — it’s good all three ways!
Serves 4.