When it comes to BBQs, those center-of-plate proteins—burgers, chicken, and hot dogs—generally get all the attention. But we’re all about the veg-forward side dishes that make cookouts great. And we aren’t talking your average coleslaw, either.
We’ve deemed this refreshing pasta salad the ultimate summer pasta salad. It’s chock-full of summery produce like squash and cherry tomatoes and topped with a lemon shallot dressing that might make its way onto your menu year-round.Print
For the dressing:
- 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons capers, chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta salad:
- 2 summer squash (zucchini or yellow squash), cut into ½-inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 pound orecchiette pasta
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves, roughly torn
- Kosher salt
- In a small bowl, combine shallots, capers, zest and juice of 1 whole lemon, and olive oil. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss summer squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread squash out in a single layer onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until squash is tender and slightly golden.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to the package instructions or until al dente. Strain pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
- While pasta is still hot, pour dressing over pasta and mix to coat, allowing the shallots to wilt slightly. Let completely cool, tossing occasionally.
- Add the cooked squash and tomatoes to the pasta and mix to combine. Top with crumbled feta cheese and torn mint leaves. Serve immediately, or pasta salad can be made 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated without the feta cheese and mint leaves.