Chilled Orzo Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables and a Minty Garlic Oil

For any of you gardeners, you will know that some types of foods will are bountiful and some may take over your garden. Zucchini is a great example that creates a massive presence and sometimes you can’t even give it away! This recipe takes that into account and the end result is a lovely chilled salad that you can take as a wonderful side dish to your next picnic or gathering. This makes a nice side dish for 6 – 8 people. Adjust ingredient amounts if serving a larger crowd.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta
Kosher salt
2 small zucchinis finely diced
1 cup olive oil
3 cubes of Dorot brand garlic or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed through a garlic press
3 sprigs of mint, stems removed and chiffonade leaves
3 garden fresh tomatoes or vine ripened tomatoes from your grocery store finely diced, about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Technique

In a medium sized pot boil water with a pinch of kosher salt and add pasta and cook per package directions. Once pasta is cooked add the finely diced zucchini to the pasta and pasta water. Stir for a few minutes until zucchini begins to turn a brighter color. This will only take about 2 minutes. Once the zucchini has changed color, strain all contents from the pot into a large strainer. Place a pie dish below the strainer and place contents into the refrigerator to chill. In a medium sized skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Do not overcook or it will burn. Remove from heat and pour the oil mixture into a medium size bowl and refrigerate to cool. Once pasta, zucchini and oil have cooled, about an hour, combine them with all remaining ingredients from the above list in a large mixing bowl. Toss until well combined. Place back into refrigerator until ready to serve.

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