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
Everyday Food

  • 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.

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