Zucchini orzo salad

Apologies for the long absence! After we went to Big Sur, Mike and I spent a lovely day in wine country at an office retreat. And then I came down with something (again!) and spent the rest of his parents’ vacation in bed. I had all these plans to share photos of our travels, but it was not to be.

The last six weeks have been the busiest and best for me since I quit my job in 2009. But sometimes you pay for overworking yourself, I guess.

So anyway, I am feeling like myself again, and I have some yummy recipes to share.

The first is this super easy orzo salad. I believe I cut it out of a Real Simple magazine a few months ago. It seemed so light and summery. And even though this has been the chilliest summer of my life (we actually made hot chocolate the other night), I decided to make it anyway.

Zucchini orzo salad
adapted from Real Simple

8 ounces orzo
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for sauteeing
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or white)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 medium or 4 small zucchini, cut into half moons
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried dill

Cook the orzo according to package directions and drain under cold water to cool it down. (By the way, I had the hardest time finding orzo at the store. I finally just bought this one because it looked close enough).

While your orzo is boiling, heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the zucchini pieces with salt and pepper until they start to brown a little. The original recipe didn’t call for cooking the zucchini, but I love that extra layer of flavor.

While that’s going, whisk up your vinaigrette (3 T olive oil, 3 T vinegar, and red pepper) in a big bowl. After you turn off the zucchini and let it cool a little, add it to the vinaigrette and let it marinate about 20 minutes.

Finally, add the orzo, feta, and dill to the zucchini and toss it all together.