(Note: the white chunks that look like they could be tofu are actually the feta...it "popped" in the photo.)
As I mentioned in my earlier post "Grilled Summer Vegetables", I always grill more vegetables than we need so I have leftovers to create into a second, quick meal. We are experiencing a heat wave and the thought of cooking a big meal, let alone eating it, isn't very appealing. I started by cooking about of pound of penne, 1/2 regular and 1/2 whole grain. A note about whole grain pasta, if your family is not thrilled with it, try mixing it into regular pasta a little at a time...my family has decided a 50/50 balance is perfect, but they will go higher! I also find that with very flavorful sauces or marinades, the whole grain pasta is less noticable. Anyway, back to cooking the pasta. Cook the penne for about 7 minutes, until al dente. You don't want to overcook the pasta because it will absorb the dressing and soften further. Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water.
I had between 3-4 cups of leftover grilled vegies that had been fairly crunchy off the grill. I decided I would try to soften them a bit more, so I cooked them down in an pan on the stove. I also added 8-10 grape tomatoes, halved. The result(after about 20 minutes) was awesome, with carmelization and softening of the vegetables and the formation of a bit(very little) sauce. I tossed the vegetables with the pasta and drizzled the mixture with vinaigrette. I used my homemade, which is approximately 2 parts vinegar to 1 part olive oil with 2-3 t of dijon mustard, salt and pepper, but any favorite vinaigrette would work well. I refrigerated the salad for 4-6 hours. Before serving I added chopped, fresh basil, dill and chives and feta cheese. The result was outstanding, if I do say so myself! The pasta absorbed the flavors of the vegetables and the herbs and cheese added dimension to the salad. I served this with fresh fruit and my favorite bread from Artisan Bread in five minutes a day...the perfect summer supper.