Friday, July 22, 2011

Recipe Snapshot: Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Grilled Vegetables

This record-setting heat wave is bound to end eventually.  Maybe I'll feel like cooking again when it does.  But in the meanwhile, I'd like to share some more of thr recipes I made last weekend.  Like this awesome orzo salad.

This Mediterranean orzo salad wth grilled vegetables is great because it's adjustable.  The basics--proportions and the dressing--are a good foundation to build from.  You can use whatever veggies you'd like, and you could use goat cheese instead of feta if you prefer.  I left out the olives because my husband doesn't like them, and it was still delicious.  I forgot to add the fresh parsley the first night I served it, and it was still good.  I used a bit of fresh oregano that I grew, as well, and it added a nice touch.

I used 2 small zucchini, 2 small yellow squash, one orange bell pepper, and one medium-sized Vidalia onion.  I probably didn't need all the zucchini, but they looked so pretty at the farmer's market, I couldn't help myself!  The largest time sink in this recipe was grilling the veggies--I used my indoor grill pan, and it took three batches to get them all cooked.

I served the orzo salad with grilled pork chops on Saturday night, and the leftovers with salmon grilled indoors on my grill pan on Sunday (pictured).  It was great leftover.

Click for the recipe!

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Grilled Vegetables, recipe adapted from For the Love of Cooking blog
Time: 30-45 minutes. Serves: 8.


for the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Dash of dried oregano (or fresh, but not more than 1/2 tsp.)
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

for the salad:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, cut into spears (more if small)
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into spears (more if small)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, red or sweet, sliced into rings
  • 1 whole bell pepper, red, yellow, or orange, sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Dash of oregano, to taste
  • 1 cup of orzo, cooked per instructions
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of crumbled feta (I used 1/4 cup)
  • Handful of kalamata olives, sliced (optional)

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette together in a small bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large grill pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
  3. Slice the vegetables then drizzle the olive oil over them and season them with oregano, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Toss to coat evenly.
  4. Place vegetables on the hot grill pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until tender. The onion and bell peppers may take longer than the zucchini and squash. Set the vegetables aside to cool before dicing.
  5. Cook the orzo in salted water per instructions, then drain well. Pour the cooked orzo into a large bowl.
  6. Add the diced grilled vegetables, fresh parsley, feta cheese, and olives (if using) to the orzo.
  7. Drizzle the vinaigrette onto the mixture then toss to coat evenly (you may not need all of the vinaigrette). Taste and re-season if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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