Orzo salad with grilled vegetables isn’t just satisfying, it’s also easy to make—and even works when made ahead of time. The smokiness from grilling makes the veggies irresistible and the addition of cheese makes everybody happy.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen | The Complete Salad Cookbook | America’s Test Kitchen, 2021
We pair chunks of grilled vegetables with orzo, fresh herbs, and feta cheese for a perfect summer dinner. Zucchini, red onion, and red bell peppers worked well since their cooking times are similar. Cutting zucchini lengthwise and bell peppers into quarters creates pieces that are easy to grill.–America’s Test Kitchen
Grilled Vegetable and Orzo Salad
With fresh produce abundantly available in the summer, grilled vegetables are perfect for an al fresco supper.
In a large bowl, whisk basil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified.
If using a charcoal grill, bottom vent completely. Light a large chimney starter half filled with charcoal briquettes (3 quarts). When the top coals are partially covered with ash, pour them evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes.If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high; cover; and heat the grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium.
Thread onion rounds evenly onto two 12‑inch (30 cm) metal skewers. Spray onion rounds, bell peppers, and zucchini lightly with oil spray and sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Alternatively, if you have a grill tray, you use it for grilling the vegetables and skip the skewering step.
Grill the vegetables, covered, until spottily charred, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Move the vegetables to a cutting board and remove onion rounds from skewers.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add orzo and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the orzo, rinse under cold running water, and drain again thoroughly. Add the orzo to the bowl with the dressing.
Cut the vegetables into 1‑inch (25-mm) pieces, add to the bowl with orzo and dressing, and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divvy the salad between individual plates. Serve, topping individual portions with feta or goat cheese.
*What is a summer squash?
Squash are divided into 2 groups—summer and winter—depending on when they’re harvested. Summer squash is harvested when the plant is still immature and the skin is thin, this includes the many varieties of yellow squash, zucchini, and pattypan. Yellow crookneck squash is close but you’ll probably find the skin to be a little thicker.
Serving: 1portionCalories: 226kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 29g (10%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 8mg (3%)Sodium: 329mg (14%)Potassium: 403mg (12%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 1522IU (30%)Vitamin C: 69mg (84%)Calcium: 83mg (8%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Originally published June 11, 2021
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