Monday, July 23, 2012

Corn and Zucchini Orzo Salad

Serves 6 (at least)***
Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

After visiting the Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Market, I had a boatload of corn, zucchini, and summer squash.  Once we leave the farmers market, we always finish up our shopping for the rest of my ingredients at Lost River Market & Deli, our community-owned grocery store.  This recipe does require a bit of prepping, but it makes a HUGE salad, perfect for a summer gathering.  I also discovered that you could use 4 cups of this salad, along with just a few other ingredients to make Orzo-Veggie Fritters.  So, since it was just my husband and little old me to feed this Meatless Monday, I made this delicious salad to nibble on for a few days and then later this week, I’ll give the fritters a try.  I’ll post the fritter recipe if it passes the husband test!  (Everyday Food Magazine also listed another alternative for the leftovers, Corn, Zucchini and Pasta Frittata, but it’s so hot out, I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so fritters it will be.)  I pretty much stuck to the recipe, but I already had some Alice’s A+ Salad Dressing made up. (See the recipe at the bottom)  It has the same ingredients as what are listed in this recipe with the exception of the jalapeno and lemon zest, which I just added to it.

6 medium zucchini, diced (I used a mixture of zucchini and yellow summer squash.)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound orzo
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 cups corn kernels (from 6 ears corn)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (I use rubber gloves when handling hot peppers so that my fingers and eyes don’t burn.)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or 5 cubes of frozen Dorot Chopped Basil
4 ounces feta, crumbled (blue cheese or goat cheese would make good substitutes.)

Place zucchini in a colander and toss with salt. Place colander in sink and let sit 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking; transfer to a very large bowl.
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 4 minutes. (If you are using the frozen Dorot Chopped Basil instead of fresh basil, add the frozen cubes to the skillet when you sauté the corn.  They will melt and blend right in.)
Add the corn to the pasta along with the zucchini, 3 tablespoons oil, onion, jalapeno, and lemon zest and juice; season with salt and pepper.
Stir in basil and feta.

***To make Orzo-Veggie Fritters, transfer 4 cups of this salad to an airtight container; refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Alice’s A+ Salad Dressing Ingredients:
1-2 fresh lemons
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a pint mason jar, squeeze the juice from 1-2 lemons (about 1/4 cup juice). Add the minced garlic, if using. Add about 3/4 cups extra virgin olive oil. Add salt & freshly ground pepper to taste. (I use a "healthy pinch" of both.) Screw on the lid. (I use those handy reusable plastic lids made just for mason jars.) Shake the jar vigorously until all the ingredients are blended well. Drizzle just enough of the dressing over the salad to gently coat the leaves. This recipe usually makes enough for 3 large salads.)   Store the jar on the counter for up to two days.

Nutritional Info per Serving:  330 calories; 10 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat); 12 grams protein; 52 grams carbs; 5 grams fiber

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