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+ servings
Orzo pasta salad in white bowl with basil on top

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

Summer Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad is a fresh, flavorful orzo pasta salad packed with grilled vegetables, fresh basil  and tossed in a red wine dressing.  It's the perfect summer side dish!
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Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinager
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta salad

  • 8 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini stem removed and cut lengthwise into 1/4" thick strips
  • 8 ounces heirloom or regular cherry tomatoes halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves cut into chiffonade*

Instructions 

Prepare the vinaigrette:

  • Place the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly until emulsified. Add salt and pepper, to taste, whisk once more, and set aside.

Prepare the salad:

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Place in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Once drained, place in a large serving bowl.
  • While the pasta is cooking, preheat the grill to medium. Toss the zucchini slices with the 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill 2-3 minutes per side or until nicely charred and softened. Remove from heat and chop into 1/2" chunks, and place in the bowl with the pasta.
  • Place the corn on the grill with the zucchini, and grill 12-15 minutes, turning ever 4 minutes or so until nicely charred. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cut the corn from the cob and place in the bowl with the pasta.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and red onion to the pasta, and toss with enough of the dressing to coat. Toss in the basil just before serving -- do not chop it ahead of time as it turns black fairly quickly once it's chopped. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • *Basil chiffonade is done by stacking the leaves, rolling them up, then slicing them perpendicular to the roll. Be sure not to chop the basil until just before serving as it turns black fairly quickly after chopping!
  • Frozen corn may be used as a time saver.
  • The zucchini and corn may be sautéed or cooked in your favorite manner instead of grilling.

Nutrition

Calories: 123kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 59mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

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