Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Zucchini Orzo Salad

A few weeks ago, I had the questionable pleasure of throwing a baby shower for a friend, questionable because I'm not what most would consider a real party-planning type. I don't know if our friends realized this and therefore volunteered to share the burden or if they're just great like that, but I didn't really end up doing a whole lot. The games/prizes were planned by someone else (thank heavens!) and several of them even brought food, including a delicious pasta salad that gave me the inspiration for this one.

The thing I found most interesting about this salad is that the zucchini isn't cooked. It had never occurred to me to eat zucchini uncooked. I don't know why; it just seemed weird. Shouldn't zucchini always be sauteed in a hearty amount of butter or breaded or grilled? Raw zucchini weeps and becomes as slimy as a cucumber, but without the flavor. Right?

Wrong! Raw zucchini is delicious and flavorful and not a bit slimy. I was quite surprised. It made this pasta salad even better because in the middle of the blazing hot summer, you needn't turn on the oven for even 1 minute. Just one small pot to boil water for a few minutes and the heat is gone, leaving you with a dang tasty pasta salad. Marvelous.

Zucchini Orzo Salad
Recipe by Kelly
Pictures by Kelly

1 package (1 lb) orzo pasta
3 medium zucchini, sliced sliced 1/2 inch thick, then quartered
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  1. In a large pot, bring well-salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook about 8 minutes, or until orzo is just slightly al dente (slightly firm). Drain and rinse in cold water (this will help prevent the pasta from absorbing all the oil and lemon juice).
  2. Toss the zucchini and tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Add more salt or lemon juice, to taste. Chill and serve.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

My cooking innovations have stalled recently. I need something quick, tasty, easy, and new to try. This is just the thing. Thanks.

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