Side Dishes

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m starting my 4th of July recipe posts early so that you can have lots of delicious backyard barbecue inspiration ready to go. Also, summer barbecue season is in full swing and is it really a barbecue if there isn’t pasta salad? I love cooking seasonally so I wanted to pack as many seasonal veggies as I could into this Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata. We have red bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, green beans, corn and arugula – like I said, all the veggies!

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata  |  Lemon & Mocha

The best part is that all the vegetables, except the arugula, are roasted, which concentrates their flavor and sweetness. It also gives them a nice caramelization taking your pasta salad to the next level. And if you want to be at the top level then you have to toss your pasta salad with a lemony pesto and creamy burrata cheese! How amazing does that sound? If you’ve never had burrata it’s basically mozzarella’s cooler sibling and is soft on the inside. You can find in the grocery store near the fresh mozzarella, but if you can’t find any you could substitute fresh mozzarella or even goat cheese.

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pasta salads tend to either fall in the creamy macaroni category or the Italian dressing camp, so I love switching it up and using the pesto to dress and flavor the pasta and veggies. I tried to keep this as simple as possible by roasting everything at the same temperature for the same amount of time.

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata  |  Lemon & Mocha

While making this recipe I also discovered my new favorite way to make corn! I love grilled corn, but it takes a fair amount of prep work, while boiling corn seems to take forever and doesn’t add any flavor. Baking corn is the way to go! I shucked the corn, lightly drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper then wrapped in aluminum foil before popping in the oven along with the other vegetables. The corn came out tender and full of flavor.

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you are looking for other pasta salad ideas, Diane’s Orzo Pasta Salad is another favorite of mine! How do you like your pasta salad? Are you team creamy macaroni, team Italian dressing, or something completely different?

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata  |  Lemon & Mocha

Summer Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad with Burrata
 
Yield: 10-12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound short pasta
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup halved green beans
  • 1 ear corn
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ¾ cup pesto
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 6 ounces burrata
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prep the veggies. Cut the red pepper into a large dice. Cut thick rounds of the yellow squash and zucchini then quarter. Place the cut red pepper, cut yellow squash, cut zucchini, tomatoes and cut green beans on a full sheet pan (18”x 26”) then lightly drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat then season with salt and pepper. Spread out the veggies so they aren’t overlapped or on top of each other. Remove the husk and silk from the ear of corn. Get a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the corn in then place the ear of corn in the center slightly turning up the edges. Lightly drizzle with olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Tightly wrap the ear of corn. Place the baking sheet and the wrapped corn on the middle rack of your oven and let cook for 25 minutes, or until the veggies are nicely roasted. Set aside.
  3. While the vegetables are roasted, boil the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and strain. Once cooled slightly and dry, put in a large mixing bowl. When the cooked vegetables have slightly cooled add them to the mixing bowl, using a sharp knife to carefully cut the kernels of corn off the ear.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together together the pesto, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and some fresh ground pepper. Pour over the pasta and the vegetables. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper according to taste. Place in the serving dish. Top with the burrata, breaking off chunks to spread on top.

 

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

These are the grilled asparagus from the Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce dish, but they have been kicked up a notch. The chimichurri sauce is olive oil, parsley, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt and pepper pureed together in a blender. Super simple and nicely concentrated with fresh flavors.

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s also delicious over grilled steaks and breakfast tacos, but today we are drizzling it over grilled asparagus. Maybe even doing a little dunking and swiping action, too, because it’s so good you will want every last drop.

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I love asparagus so I’m always brainstorming for ideas to jazz it up while still keeping it healthy and quick to make.

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

I highly recommend making all three dishes from this week together – the Hawaiian BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, the Asian Pineapple Slaw, and this Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri. When the Hawaiian sauce mixes with the slaw and the chimichurri it is the definition of complete magic! Enjoy and happy Friday!

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the chimichurri
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
for the asparagus
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the chimichurri
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the asparagus in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
for the grilled asparagus
  1. Remove and discard the woody ends of the asparagus. If you lightly bend the asparagus stalk it will snap at a natural spot where the thick stem ends. Drizzle the asparagus with the olive oil then toss to coat. Season with the salt and pepper. I usually do about 5-6 grinds each of our salt and pepper grinders (they are small).
  2. Heat your grill or grill pan so it’s at medium-high heat. Grill the asparagus for 5 minutes, tossing/turning once while grilling. If your asparagus stalks are very thin you may only need 3 minutes, if the stalks are thick you may need longer than the 5 minutes. If you are using a grill not a grill pan I would suggest using a grill grid or basket so the asparagus doesn’t slip through the grill grates and adding about 5 minutes of grilling time. Top with the chimichurri.

 

Asian Pineapple Slaw

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

Ta-da! Here is the slaw I referred to in Monday’s Hawaiian BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe. It’s an Asian Pineapple Slaw to be specific and, yes, it is definitely as delicious as it sounds.

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

It probably has the shortest and easiest directions of any post here on Lemon & Mocha. “Add all the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.” That’s it!

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

Two of the ingredients are reduced sodium soy sauce and sesame oil to bring in the Asian flavor profile, but the fresh pineapple and agave syrup sweeten it up. Add some lime zest to give it some citrus zing (and a bunch of other ingredients that aren’t as exciting so I won’t mention them here) and you have a bright and crunchy veggie side dish.

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have actually only ever made this slaw when I’m serving the Hawaiian BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, but it would taste great with chicken burgers or teriyaki grilled salmon. And probably a whole lot of other things, but those are the two dishes I think I will pair it with next. Enjoy!

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

Asian Pineapple Slaw
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage, packed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Zest from ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Unless I’m busy gorging on pasta, dinner at home doesn’t seem complete to me unless there are some veggies. This is probably because my dad always seems to need at least three types of vegetables on his plate and he’s been like that for as long as I can remember. Roasted vegetables are usually the default in our house, but these orange and apple cider vinegar sautéed brussels sprouts from Pati’s Mexican Table were speaking to me. Well, actually her recipe calls for green beans, but we are big fans of brussels over here so I’ll use any excuse to sub them in.

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s hard to make brussels sprouts look attractive, especially after removing the outer dark green leaves, so you will just have to trust me that these brussels are super tasty. They are light and citrusy, with just the right amount of acidity from the apple cider vinegar. They were also the perfect finishing touch to our dinner of Sweet and Salty Salmon and Arroz Verde.

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Whether I’m roasting or sautéing them, I typically halve brussels sprouts so they cook quicker and have more layers to soak up the seasonings or sauce. I was watching Anne Burrell on the Food Network a few months ago and she gave me another reason to always halve them – it releases some of the gases in the vegetable that can cause it to taste bitter. So always halve your sprouts!

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, stems and dark outer leaves removed, cut in half
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the halved brussels sprouts, chopped white onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the brussels sprouts are almost tender, about 15 minutes. I usually test to see if I can pierce a sprout with a fork with a little resistance.
  2. Add the orange juice and apple cider vinegar. Cook until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.

Recipe adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Arroz Verde

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re back at it today with another tasty dish from Pati’s Mexican Table. Pati gave this arroz verde the title of My Favorite Green Rice, but I’m renaming it simply My Favorite Rice because it is the best rice I’ve ever made. The rice is so simple, but it has great flavor to it that really complements dishes like the Sweet and Salty Salmon well. A vibrant green puree is made from poblano chiles, parsley, cilantro and garlic. The puree gets soaked into the uncooked rice before finishing cooking in the water, broth and lime juice. It amazes me that such a small step added to cooking regular rice could make such a huge impact in the flavor. Similar to a few other dishes I’ve had on here where I’ve used chili peppers (Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad and Monday’s Sweet and Salty Salmon), the poblano peppers have the seeds and pith removed so they do not make the rice spicy.

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love using my Breville Risotto Plus for this rice dish because it lets me sauté and then switch it to the rice cooker setting all in the same pot. I know I’ve talked about this appliance before, but I love it! In our house it is used as our slow cooker, rice cooker and steamer. We also use the risotto setting when we’re feeling fancy and indulgent. The sauté feature is especially helpful for slow cooker recipes that require you to sauté onions or sear meat before turning on the slow cooker setting.

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyway, back to My Favorite Rice! If you don’t have a rice cooker with a sauté setting just follow the directions below for stove-top cooking. In addition to pairing with my favorite Mexican dishes from Pati’s Mexican Table I also love serving this rice to spice up an otherwise “boring” dinner, such as grilled chicken and veggies. Once you try it you won’t want plain rice again!

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Arroz Verde
 
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 poblano chiles, seeds and pith removed, roughly cut into chunks
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup parsley leaves
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2½ - 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups jasmine or long-grain white rice
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese, for topping if desired
Directions
  1. Puree the poblanos, water, parsley, cilantro, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup and note the amount (or note the amount if your blender has measurements on the side). In a separate liquid measuring cup, measure out enough vegetable broth so that when added to the amount of poblano puree you make the two liquids together equal 4 cups. Keep the poblano puree and the vegetable broth separate.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil then add the rice. Cook, stirring often, until the rice changes to a milky white color, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped white onion and continue to sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the poblano puree into the pan with the rice and continue to stir while it cooks. Cook until the puree thickens and then is mostly absorbed by the rice, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and lime juice then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. The rice should be cooked and tender, but there should still be some moisture in the pan. Fluff with a fork or rice paddle then serve with the crumbled cheese on top, if desired.
Notes
If you are using a rice cooker with a sauté setting, switch to the rice cooker setting immediately after stirring in the vegetable broth and lime juice and cover with the lid.

Recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!