I pinned this beautiful rustic pasta salad from Half Baked Harvest and thought the 4th of July was a perfect holiday to make this and share with those I love. The one food my husband refuses is sun dried tomatoes, so I knew I needed to make a few changes.
It turned out flavorful and unique. The kids picked out the fresh mozzarella and pasta and I dug deep for the sweetness of the grilled red peppers.
Grilled Red Pepper, Kale and Mozzarella Pasta
2 red bell peppers
1 large bunch kale
2-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 a lemon, juiced
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 pound whole-wheat pasta
1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced
8 ounces mozzarella balls
Preheat the grill to medium high heat and rub the bell peppers with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the kale to a large gallon size ziplock bag and add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and massage the olive oil onto the kale.
Wrap the garlic cloves in a small piece of tin foil. Place the bell peppers and garlic cloves on the grill and grill for 10 minutes, turning the peppers 2-3 times during cooking or until charred. Remove the peppers to a plate and add the kale to the grill. Grill the kale for 30 seconds to 1 minute on one side, then flip and grill another 30 seconds to 1 minute or until just beginning to char on the edges. Remove the kale leaves and the garlic from the grill. Allow the veggies to cool slightly and then slice the bell pepper, chop the kale and mince the garlic into a paste. Set aside.
Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove the balsamic from the heat add the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, mashed garlic paste and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and add to a large serving bowl. To the bowl add the sliced peppers, chopped kale, basil, and mozzarella. Add half the dressing and toss well. Taste and add the remaining dressing if desired.
Also, you might like recipes for Healthy Beet, Orange, Raspberry and Carrot Popsicles and Quinoa Black Bean Enchilada Bake.
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- Check out my 2014 photo project How Quickly They Change.