A go-to late summer meal

As I made this for the second time in as many weeks, I realized it was a good non-recipe to share.

This has been our go-to dish for using up a drawer or colander full of veggies, and it's perfect for a leftover side or lunch so ideal for busy gardeners or back-to-school folks alike.

Next time you're grilling, search for all the vegetables  you are ignoring in your fridge/counter/ or possibly on the plants themselves:  tomatoes, eggplant, peppers (green or red), zucchini, onion, leeks, green beans.  Chop them into slightly larger-than bite-size pieces (they'll shrink a bit) and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Throw into a grill basket (if you don't have one, really, it's the best thing for veggie lovers).  If not--you could grill in larger pieces or skewers and chop smaller afterwards.

Eat the rest of your dinner (it's okay to steal bits of these warm as a side dish on their own) and stash in the fridge for the next day.

Start with some short-ish pasta: I've been using penne, but homemade bowties would work well here.  Use your favorite pesto thinned a little for easy coverage.  If I'm feeling lazy I just make an ultra simple vinaigrette and use that instead.  If I'm feeling ambitious I make pesto with dried tomatoes as well as mixed herbs, which is super good and inspired by the original recipe that sparked my version.

I put a blop of pesto in the bottom of a big bowl, thin with a little olive oil/vinegar, and toss the hot drained pasta atop.  I hold back a little pesto in case it needs it later, but I probably use about 1/3 of a cup for 8 ounces of pasta (measured uncooked). 

Next up:  fresh additions. This changes up depending on what I have on hand, but the standby ingredients are cubed cheese (feta and mozz are really good), some olives, and a few chopped veggies to add texture.  I like the grilled tomatoes in this, but a few fresh sungold tomatoes or quartered plums are a nice contrast. 

This time I also added fresh cucumber, which gave it a greek feel. 

Toss it all together, and enjoy!   It's almost embarrassingly a non-recipe, but I use about 6 cups of grilled veggies (that's the size of the pyrex dish I cram them in) and 8 ounces of pasta, and eyeball the rest.  You can also eat this warm, just use the vegetables right off the grill and toss with hot drained pasta and the pesto.  Add the fresh ingredients and the cheese last so it doesn't melt entirely. 

Warning:  it's a recipe that grows in volume fast--so be prepared to eat it for days or halve it accordingly!

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