This grilling masterpiece gets pretty saucy—with balsamic tomatoes and pesto, that is! Garlicky grilled tomatoes and balsamic vinegar are mixed with butter and parsley to make a savory-sweet topping for your grilled salmon. Plus, no great BBQ would be without a can't-miss cookout side: this warm pesto pasta salad tossed with grilled portobellos and sweet bell peppers.
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Mushroom Stock Concentrate
• Preheat a well-oiled grill to medium heat. (TIP: If using a grill pan, you’ll heat it in step 4.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry produce. • Using the tip of a spoon, remove and discard black gills from undersides of mushrooms; trim any large stems if necessary. Halve mushrooms. Halve, core, and quarter bell pepper. Halve tomatoes lengthwise. Peel and mince garlic. Pick parsley leaves from stems; roughly chop leaves.
• In a large bowl, toss mushrooms and bell pepper with 3 TBSP olive oil (6 TBSP for 4 servings), 2 tsp Italian Seasoning (4 tsp for 4; you’ll use the rest later), and a big pinch of salt and pepper. • Place tomatoes and garlic in the center of a small piece of foil. Drizzle with half the vinegar and 1 TBSP olive oil (2 TBSP for 4). Season with a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper. Cinch into a packet. • Pat salmon* dry with paper towels; lightly oil. Season with remaining Italian Seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a large piece of foil, skin sides down. TIP: If using a grill pan, skip foil under salmon. • PAN ALTERNATIVE: Skip foil packet. (You’ll cook tomatoes and garlic in step 4.)
• Once water is boiling, add penne to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9-11 minutes. • Drain and return pasta to pot. Immediately stir in pesto, stock concentrate, and remaining vinegar. TIP: Cover pot with lid to keep warm. • PAN ALTERNATIVE: Stir in half the vinegar (you’ll use the rest in the next step).
• Add mushrooms, bell pepper, tomato and garlic packet, and salmon to grill. (TIP: For a grill pan, lightly oil; heat over medium high. Cook in batches.) Grill mushrooms, 3-5 minutes per side. Grill bell pepper, packet, and salmon until cooked through, 5-6 minutes per side. • PAN ALTERNATIVE: Cook bell pepper in a large oiled pan over medium-high heat, 4-6 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 3-5 minutes more. Remove; wipe out pan. Cook tomatoes and garlic in olive oil, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining vinegar, 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4), a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper. Remove; wipe out pan. Cook salmon, skin sides down, in oil, 5-7 minutes; flip and cook until cooked through, 1-2 minutes more.
• Reserve 1 TBSP parsley (2 TBSP for 4 servings); set aside. • Thinly slice mushrooms and bell pepper crosswise; add to pot with penne. Stir in half the Parmesan and remaining parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
• Transfer tomato mixture from foil packet to a small bowl. Cut 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings) into four pieces; add to bowl along with reserved parsley. Stir until butter has melted. • Place pasta salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Place salmon on a serving plate and top with balsamic tomatoes. Serve family style (or divide between plates and serve). • PAN ALTERNATIVE: Place tomato mixture in a small bowl and stir in reserved parsley.