Eating My Way Through

Minted Squash and Orzo Salad September 5, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Salad,Veggies — Nikki Wegner @ 3:09 pm

Deciding what to bring along with you to a party or BBQ can sometimes a be a bit challenging. Do you just chop up some veggies and bring some dip? Do you go all out and bake a dessert?

This salad is a great in between dish. Something that is a break from the traditional, while still being easy and accessible. Now admittedly, I didn’t bring this to a BBQ, I just made it for dinner and then brought it for last week’s lunches, but c’est la vie. Next time I know what to make!

To start you cook the Orzo. Orzo was something new to me, so if you don’t know what it looks like, here ya go:

Orzo

Orzo

Once the orzo is cooked, drain the pasta and set aside. Make sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water for later!

Chop up the squash.

Yellow Summer Squash

Yellow Summer Squash

In a large skillet, heat olive oil with garlic. Then you add the squash, sprinkle with salt, and cook until tender and browned, about 4 minutes.

Then add in the orzo and cooking water, letting simmer for about 2 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

Squash and Orzo

Squash and Orzo

Once everything is cooked together, stir in 3/4 of the feta and the mint. Once the feta is melted, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining feta and mint.

Minted Squash and Orzo Salad

Minted Squash and Orzo Salad

If you decide to serve the salad at a party or BBQ I would prepare the salad exactly like the directions say!

But, if you are going to make it for lunches, I wouldn’t mix in the feta and mint right away. I would toss in the feta right before reheating, and then sprinkle it with mint. This will make sure the mint is fresh and doesn’t get wilted as it sits in your fridge waiting to be eaten.

Minted Squash and Orzo Salad (adapted from Claire Robinson)

1 cup dried orzo pasta

2 tsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt, to taste

3.5 oz reduced-fat feta

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Directions:

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil

Stir in orzo and cook for 8 minutes, orzo will be undercooked

Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water

Drain orzo pasta in a colander, set aside

Heat olive oil in a large skillet with garlic

Add the squash, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally

Cook 4-6 minutes until brown and softened

Reduce heat to medium-low and add cooking water and orzo

Bring to a simmer and stir in 3 ounces of feta and season with salt

Cook until water is absorbed, about 2 minutes

Remove from heat stir in mint

Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with feta and mint

Yields 4 servings

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