Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine

Weekly Recipe: Orzo and Vegetable Salad

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It should come as no surprise that I tend to be most drawn to salads that include a form of pasta (although, this arguably makes them less healthy and certainly higher in carbohydrates), and I tabbed this recipe as one to try during my first flip-through of my Maine Summers Cookbook.  This dish is a great weeknight meal for us, because it’s quick, easy, and filling.  You could easily add chicken or shrimp to it as well.

Colorful ingredients!

Colorful ingredients!

You’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, blanched and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, green parts only
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped summer squash
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the orzo according to the package directions, drain, and cool completely.  Combine the orzo with the tomatoes, peas, red onion, scallions, zucchini, and summer squash in a large salad bowl.  Dress with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature.

This salad stores well in an airtight container for up to 3 days, and I actually liked the flavor better on the second day.  This could be a good make-ahead dish for a party or light dinner.  I added some feta cheese to my serving, which was a delicious addition.  It just seemed to go well with the tomatoes, red onions, and other veggies.

Great summer dinner!

Great summer dinner!

As I mentioned above, I think you could certainly add chicken, shrimp, or other seafood to this pasta salad to make it heartier.  The flavor of this dish, not surprisingly, reminded me very much of a Greek Tuna Pasta Salad that I like to make for many of the same reasons – it’s quick, easy, and filling.  I’ll keep that on the list to share with you all sometime!

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