Orzo & Zucchini Salad
Here is a wonderful way to put fresh zucchini and basil to work — a tasty and healthy pasta salad dish for the summer. I did add an extra clove of garlic to the recipe. I also added crumbled ricotta salata cheese for some additional flavor and a nice saltiness.
One tip when working with orzo for pasta salads, let the orzo cool on a baking sheet. Make sure to drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the orzo to prevent it from sticking.
The salad tastes best a room temperature. Make sure to let the flavors meld a bit before serving.
Orzo, Zucchini & Ricotta Salata Salad
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 to 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
- Crumbled ricotta salata (to taste)
In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook orzo until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain well. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool completely.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add zucchini and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Transfer orzo to a medium bowl; add zucchini mixture, basil, vinegar, and remaining teaspoon oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. If storing, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before serving.