Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables, Parsley and Feta
3/4 pound orecchiette
1/2 pound thin asparagus
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1/2 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small shallot, finely chopped
4 ounces French feta cheese (3/4 cup), crumbled
1 cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente. Drain the pasta, rinse under cold water and drain well. Transfer the orecchiette to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, brush the asparagus, zucchini and eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables over moderately high heat: turn the asparagus several times, until crisp-tender and charred, about 2 minutes; turn the zucchini once, until tender and charred, about 3 minutes; turn the eggplant once, until tender and charred, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the grilled vegetables to a work surface. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch lengths. Cut the zucchini crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Halve the eggplant slices lengthwise, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the grilled vegetables to the orecchiette.
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the shallot and the remaining 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss to coat. Add the feta cheese, parsley and olives, season with salt and pepper and toss again, then serve.
The pasta salad can be refrigerated overnight in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before serving.