I made this for dinner on the first night of vegetarian month because I knew Glenn and I already like it, and we wouldn't be missing the meat, at least for one day! (See yesterday's post for how I ate a ham sandwich later that night.)
I tried to take a screen shot of Pita Jungle's menu, but apparently this isn't on the menu anymore! I have eaten this salad there a few times and I love it, so a few months ago I decided to try to make it myself. Back then, it was still on the online menu for Pita Jungle and it said something like "Vegetables pan-fried with garlic, ginger, and basil, and tossed with pasta and a honey vinaigrette." I remember from having it at the restaurant that it usually had eggplant, squash, and sometimes cauliflower. I left out the cauliflower the first time, and it was so good I've just never added it, but I'm sure it would be delicious if you put it in!
Here is the recipe I came up with:
Honey Pasta Salad
1 box rotini pasta (veggie kind, if you want, so it is three colors)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger root, grated
1 Japanese eggplant (or small regular eggplant)
2 large summer squash
2 large zucchini
1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup of honey or agave (or more, if you want)
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Make the vinaigerette: Put honey and vinegar in the bottom of your serving bowl. Whisk in the olive oil.
2. Cook the pasta.
3. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant and squash into similar shapes and sizes. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the garlic. After about 30 seconds, add the veggies and ginger. Cook until veggies are soft and caramelized. (Don’t stir too much or the veggies won’t get a good caramelization.) In the last minute of cooking time, add the salt and most of the basil, reserving a little for garnish.
4. Add pasta and veggies to the serving bowl with the vinaigerette and toss. Garnish with the remaining basil.