Summer Orzo Salad is a light and fresh pasta salad, loaded with grilled corn, zucchini and peaches. It brings together the best of summer ingredients, making it the perfect side dish for BBQs, picnics and potlucks.
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 garlic cloves
- dash of salt
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 cups orzo, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ears of fresh corn, husks removed
- 2 medium-sized zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 2 medium-sized peaches, skin on, halved and pitted
- 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, packed and torn
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
Prepare the vinaigrette:
- Add the ingredients to a blender and blend on high until emulsified. Set aside.
Prepare the salad:
- Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.
- Preheat your grill on high. Brush the corn, zucchini and peaches with the 1 tablespoon of oil, and season the corn and zucchini with the salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to medium, and add the corn to the grill and grill for 12-16 minutes, rotating every few minutes until the corn starts to char and is cooked on all sides.
- Once the corn has been on the grill for about 5 minutes, add the zucchini and peaches. Grill for 6-8 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark. You’ll want them to be tender but not mushy.
- Remove the corn, zucchini and peaches from the grill and let cool. Cut the corn away from the cob and chop the zucchini and peaches into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, add the orzo, corn, zucchini, peaches, tomatoes, basil, feta and vinaigrette, and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or let sit in the fridge for a few hours. Leftovers should be enjoyed within 2-3 days.
- Rinse the orzo with cold water after cooking it. This cools it down fast and helps prevent it from clumping. Once cooled, if it’s a little clumpy, just stir in a drizzle of olive oil to help break it apart.
- To save time, you can use canned or frozen corn, and you can add raw zucchini and peaches to your salad instead of grilled.
- When grilling peaches, make sure they are firm, otherwise they may get too mushy for the salad.
- Make sure the orzo and grilled ingredients are cooled before assembling the salad, otherwise, the basil will wilt and the feta may melt.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: pasta salad, summer salad