Grilling the sweet peppers, eggplant, and zucchini for this colorful salad will give them a rich smoky flavor. The garlic dressing gives it zip. By doing the grilling ahead, and storing the savory dressing in the refrigerator, this flavor-filled dish is done in the time it takes to simmer pasta.

Makes: 4 servings.

Prep: 20 mins.

Grill: 8 mins to 12 mins.


  • 2 red and/or yellow sweet peppers
  • 2 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise, or 8 to 10 yellow sunburst or pattypan squash*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups dried tortiglioni or rigatoni
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon bottled roasted minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup cubed fontina cheese (3 ounces)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley or parsley


  1. Halve sweet peppers lengthwise; remove and discard stems, seeds, and membranes. Brush sweet peppers, eggplants, and zucchini with the 1 tablespoon oil. To grill, place vegetables on the grill rack directly over medium-hot coals. Grill, uncovered, for 8 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, turning occasionally. Remove vegetables from grill; cool slightly. Cut vegetables into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar, olive oil, water, bottled roasted minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and shake well.
  3. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water; drain again. In a large bowl combine pasta and grilled vegetables. Pour dressing over salad. Toss lightly to coat. Stir in cheese; sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 servings.


If using sunburst or pattypan squash, precook for 3 minutes in a small amount of boiling water before grilling.

from the test kitchen

  • Cut up cheese; wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Prepare dressing; cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before tossing with salad.

nutrition facts (Grilled Vegetable Salad with Garlic Dressing):

Servings Per Recipe 4, cal. (kcal) 369, Fat, total (g) 19, chol. (mg) 61, sat. fat (g) 6, carb. (g) 40, fiber (g) 5, pro. (g) 12, vit. A (RE) 391, vit. C (mg) 67, sodium (mg) 317, calcium (mg) 121, iron (mg) 3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet