Herbed Zucchini and Corn Orzo Salad

I have another summer favorite comin’ atcha today in the form of this herbed zucchini and corn orzo salad.

And let me tell you, I am in the summer zone right about now. Because the past few days? Hands down the most beauuutiful weather of the season so far. We’re talking in the 80s, no humidity, gorgeously sunny.

Zippy, light and fresh herbed zucchini and corn orzo salad! This simple pasta is perfect for barbecues or a quick and easy dinner!

It’s got me completely blissed out and all I can think about is getting back outside as soon as humanly possible – i.e. my motivation to do just about anything productive has officially left the building.

So let’s keep things short and sweet today, shall we?

And get down to the task at hand – this orzo salad! Light, fresh, packed with summer produce, whole wheat pasta, a zippy honey lemon dressing!

It’s filled with flavor, perfect for the season and only takes about 30 minutes to whip up. And this warm weather staple can most certainly serve you well in just about any situation. Easy dinner? Check. Make ahead side dish? Check. Potluck / picnic / summer shindig situation? Check check check.

See? It’s got you covered on all fronts. It’s the pasta salad of summer 2017! <— That’s not overly dramatic or anything.

This herbed zucchini and corn orzo salad is perfect for summer! Healthy, fresh and ready in 30 minutes!

But anyway. Let’s move along and get to a few tips & tricks for the recipe.

  1. This jazzy little number is delicious served either hot or cold. If I’m making this for dinner, we tend to enjoy it warm. But otherwise, cold or room temp all the way!
  2. Along those lines, if you are planning on enjoying this as a main dish, it is most excellent served or topped with a protein of choice.
  3. Feel free to play with / adjust any of the flavors to your taste. Add more lemon zest or juice to make it extra zingy and bright! Add more basil to pump up that spicy freshness! Sprinkle on more nuts for extra crunch! You catch my drift, yes?
  4. And finally, you can absolutely use regular orzo instead of the whole wheat variety. I find that whole wheat orzo can be a little hard to find at my local stores (so of course when I do find it, I stock up like it’s going out of style – pasta love ♡).

But enough about this orzo salad. I’m off to join that crazy beagle of mine who is currently sunning herself on our back patio while simultaneously trying to eat the bees that fly by her head. <— Because that seems like a good idea, yes???

Light & fresh herbed zucchini and corn orzo salad! This healthy and easy pasta dish makes for a great make-ahead meal or side!

Yield: about 6 servings, as a side

Herbed Zucchini and Corn Orzo Salad

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:15 minutes

Total Time:30 minutes

Zippy, light and fresh herbed zucchini and corn orzo salad! This simple pasta is perfect for barbecues or a quick and easy dinner!

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium bunch scallions, thinly sliced, whites & greens separated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small to medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup lightly packed baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup pine nuts

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

For the salad:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, then add to a large bowl. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the scallion whites and the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add in the zucchini and corn and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the zucchini is crisp tender. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the veggies to the large bowl with the pasta. To the bowl, add the scallion greens, the arugula, basil, parsley and pine nuts. Toss to combine.

For the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  2. Pour into the bowl with the warm pasta and toss to combine. Taste and season with additional salt / pepper as desired (I usually add somewhere between ¼ to ½ teaspoon more salt). Enjoy warm or chill in the fridge before serving!

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