Monday, July 5, 2010

Zucchini Orzo Salad

I made this recipe a couple weeks ago with basil, and again when we got home from vacation with dill, and it was good both ways. Scoob has said this is his newest favorite dish, "Even better than macaroni salad." Which, for a Hawaiian, where nearly every meal is served with two scoops rice and macaroni salad, is saying a lot.

Either that, or it's his subtle way of telling me to quit trying to make macaroni salad, 'cause I jus' can' make da kine. You see, I've tried to make several variations of Hawaiian-style macaroni salad, but that right there is the problem—I'm trying to make a variation of it, not the real thing. The "real" thing consists of macaroni elbows, a butt load of Best Foods mayonnaise, and maybe 3 individual peas and 4 or 5 shreds of carrot. Seriously.

I like my macaroni salad to have a little zing. A little flavor. So I keep trying to find a macaroni middle ground that appeals to both of us. Even though he has liked several of the salads I've made, none of them is da kine.

Anyhow, enough about macaroni salad, on to the newest favorite, Zucchini Orzo Salad. It's super, super easy, and if you (or your neighbor) planted zucchini this year, you may want remember this one later when you've eaten all the zucchini bread you can manage and you're staring at a pile of summer squash wondering "What the hell am I going to do with all this zucchini squash?"

Zucchini Orzo Salad

Zucchini Orzo Salad
Total time: 25 minutes

    8 oz. orzo pasta (½ a box)
    3 Tbsp olive oil
    3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
    1 tsp crushed red pepper
    Kosher salt and black pepper
    2–3 medium zucchini, cut into half-moons
    8 oz. Feta, crumbled
    ¼ cup fresh dill (or basil), chopped

  1. While waiting for water to boil for the orzo, combine the oil, vinegar, red pepper, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the zucchini and marinate, tossing occasionally, for 20 minutes—about the time it takes to boil the water and cook the orzo.
  2. Cook the orzo according to the package instructions, drain and run under cold water to cool.
  3. Add the orzo, Feta, and dill (or basil) to the zucchini mixture and toss to combine.

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