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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zucchini and Orzo Salad

This sauteed zucchini and orzo salad was easy enough to throw together after an exhausting (but delightful) weekend with some of our favorite people in Chicago.  I used a big handful of dill here, but I am sure it would be great with basil, cilantro or your favorite fresh herb.  Next time I make this I might add some deeply browned carrot slices or sauteed tofu.

The weekend itself was quite a culinary experience.  We enjoyed grilled balsamic-soaked portabellas with bleu cheese (among other grilled-goodness), thanks to my generous and hospitable cousins, as well as a perfectly tart plum crumble (made by Mallory).  In the morning, Ryan graced us with huevos rancheros, effectively satisfying a long lasting craving of mine.  This zucchini salad did not fall short of the standards set over the weekend, nor did it take any more time or effort than I was prepared to put forth after a long and busy weekend. 

Zucchini and Orzo Salad 
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 2 more tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large zucchinis, 1/4 inch thick, half moon slices
  • pinch of salt
  • scant 1/4 cup each chopped dill, crumbled goat cheese and almond slices
1) Whisk together the shallot, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.  Set aside.
2) Fill a large pot with water and cook orzo al dente, per package instructions.
3) In the mean time, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Toss the zucchini with the olive oil and a bit of salt.  Cook the slices in as close to a single layer as you can, flipping them every two to three minutes for about 6 minutes total.  Both sides should be browned.
4) Transfer zucchini to a medium bowl.  Add the cooked orzo (well drained) and toss gently with half of the dressing.  Wait a minute or two, taste and adjust the flavors if you  need to.  Before serving toss with fresh dill, goat cheese and almond slices. 
Serves 4 as a side

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