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Summer Squash Orzo Salad

Dish Type: More-than-Salads


  • 8oz Orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil plus 1 teaspoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided use
  • 2 medium Yellow Crookneck Squash, trimmed, diced
  • 2 medium Zucchini, trimmed, diced
  • 1/2 large Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • Minced zest of 1 Lemon (colored portion of the peel)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach or Mixed Baby Greens
  • 1/2 cup Unpitted Olives, such as Kalamata or Nicoise
  • Optional garnish: Microgreens


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil on high heat.  Add orzo and cook according to package directions until al dente (tender but with a little bite).  Drain, refresh with cold water.  Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon oil.  Set aside.

Place zucchini, crookneck squash, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes in a large bowl.  Gently toss. In small bowl or glass measuring cup with handle, combine zest, juice, 3 tablespoons oil, salt, black pepper to taste, and parsley.  Stir to thoroughly combine.  Pour on vegetables and toss.  Add orzo and toss.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Divide spinach between 6 small plates.  Top with the vegetable-orzo mixture.  Sprinkle each serving with diced pitted olives.  If desired, scatter some microgreens (tiny immature greens) on top of the salad.

The meal comes from the cookbook Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce

Read the blog post where this recipe originally appeared: Orzo Salad with Summer Squash Recipe

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