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  • Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Zucchini

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    My Greek orzo salad with grilled zucchini is a light and vibrant summer dinner option. The best of the summer produce in one colourful bowl. Greek salad flavours are an absolute classic and hard not to crave constantly in the hot summer months. I think we’ve had some kind of tomato and cucumber combination for last 3 months and we yet to get tired of it. Of course, fresh summer vegetables in their peak make all the difference! In creating this Greek orzo salad I wanted to capture the freshness and flavour of the summer while making my salad a bit more substantial. What makes a salad more filling? I turn to grains and pasta when I want to turn my salad into the main meal. They provide fibre, which gives that feeling of being satisfied at the end of a good meal. There are so many grains to choose from that will alter the taste, texture and offer various nutritional benefits. Some of my favourite grains salads are: Herby Farro Salad with Olives, Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini Ribbons and Summer Goodness Millet Salad. If you are not familiar with farro or millet, you should change that as they are delicious and so good for you! Pasta salads have a special place in my heart. I am sure that will come as no surprise. Pasta is the best vehicle for any flavour. Just choose your dressing and your vegetables to change things up. Orzo pasta is special. It is a type of pasta that is named after a grain. “Orzo” in Italian means “barley”. It is ideal for soups and salads because of it’s shape. Don’t you think? I’ve mentioned earlier that pastas are perfect to be a flavour carrier but it could also be quite plain if not seasoned sufficiently. How to add more flavour to Greek Orzo Salad? Make a flavourful vinaigrette for a dressing incorporating herbs. Dress the orzo with the vinaigrette while still hot. Many people wait for pasta to cool before they mix it with the dressing but pastas take on flavours much better if they are added while still hot. Use good quality feta cheese with your orzo salad. It will give that burst of saltiness and flavour! Use cherry tomatoes or good quality farmer’s market/homegrown tomatoes. Tomatoes are responsible for much taste in a Greek salad. Experiment with different herbs. I’ve used chopped mint for extra freshness and chives instead of an onion. You will have better breath 😉 and explore different flavour combination. For more pasta salads check out Green Goddess Pasta Salad  Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette If you make this Greek Orzo Salad, I would love to see your photos. Simply tag @vikalinka in your Instagram snaps! Print Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Zucchini Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 20 mins Cooling Time 30 mins Total Time 30 mins   This Greek orzo salad is a fun spin on the traditional Greek salad with the addition of orzo pasta and grilled zucchini. Use the best of the summer produce for maximum taste! Course: Main Course Cuisine: Greek Keyword: Greek Orzo Salad Servings: 4 people Calories: 314 kcal Ingredients For the dressing 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1 clove garlic small, crushed salt and pepper to taste For the Greek Orzo Salad 1/2 lbs orzo 1 zucchini small or use 6-8 baby zucchini 100g/1 cup cherry tomatoes mixed colours if possible 100g/1/3c feta cheese crumbled 3 tbsp chives 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped 4 tbsp/1/4cup kalamata olives salt to taste Instructions For the dressing In a mason jar combine all ingredients, put a lid on and shake to combine.  For the Greek Orzo Salad Cook the orzo in a pot of boiling and salted water according to package instructions.  While the orzo is cooking, cut the baby zucchini in half and grill for 3 minutes on each side. (If using a regular size zucchini, cut it in 1 inch thick slices.  Drain the orzo and dress with the vinaigrette while hot, set aside to cool.  When the orzo is at room temperature add sliced grilled zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, sliced chives, chopped mint and olives. Gently toss the ingredients to combine, taste and add more salt if needed. Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Serve as a side dish or a vegetarian main.  Nutrition Facts Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Zucchini Amount Per Serving Calories 314 Calories from Fat 99 % Daily Value* Total Fat 11g 17% Saturated Fat 1g 5% Sodium 8mg 0% Potassium 254mg 7% Total Carbohydrates 44g 15% Dietary Fiber 2g 8% Sugars 2g Protein 8g 16% Vitamin A 4.6% Vitamin C 12.8% Calcium 2% Iron 5.7% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.  

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