Grilled Squash and Orzo Salad with Pine Nuts and Mint Recipe
Photo: Erin Kunkel
Early in the summer, seek out baby squashes in a variety of shapes. Combining these with halved larger squash makes a beautiful presentation on a bed of pasta. Use a grill basket so you don't lose any cherry tomatoes and baby squash, if using.
- 2 lbs mixed yellow squash and zucchini
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 lb orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
- 16 ounces cherry tomatoes (optional)
- Parmesan cheese for shaving (optional)
Trim and cut the squash lengthwise into slices 1/4-inch thick. Put in a bowl with cherry tomatoes, if using, and add 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Mix to coat.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-high heat. Grill the squash and tomatoes (if using), turning once, until tender, 5-8 minutes total. Let cool and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, and put in a large bowl.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
Meanwhile, in a dry frying pan, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant and starting to brown, 3-4 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool.
Add the orzo to the squash and tomatoes (if using) along with the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and pine nuts and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the mint. Just before serving, use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese over the salad, if using, and serve.
From Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year (Weldon Owen) by Georgeanne Brennan.
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