Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 3
Sunday, September 22, 2013

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

I love this salad and most adults I have served it too enjoy it. However my kids eat it only with some grumbling going on, but they do eat it.  You really can only make it in the summer as you need fresh produce.  I can't drain my orzo pasta which is like a larger rice kernel in my colander as it falls through the holes.  So I simply crack the pot's lid a tiny bit and slowly pour the cooking water out.  This is a recipe I got from Sunset Magazine several years ago.  It seems like a lot of preparation but it goes pretty fast if you do it all at the same time.

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad - makes 8 servings

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta (8 oz.)
  • 3 ears fresh corn 
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots or green onions
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (12 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, and cut in half


In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 2 quarts water to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse green beans, trim off ends, and pull off any strings. Cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Add beans to boiling water and cook until barely tender to bite, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and immerse in ice water until cold; drain well.
 Fill same pan with 2 1/2 to 3 quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add orzo and cook until barely tender to bite, 8 to 11 minutes. Drain.  Cool.
Cook corn with husks on and everything in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Let it cool and husk corn.  Take a sharp knife and cut off corn kernels.
To make dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, shallots, mustard, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside one cup.
Add orzo pasta to dressing in large bowl.  Stir together.  Add lots of salt and pepper.  Smooth pasta level out.
Layer corn kernels, green beans and tomatoes over pasta.  Pour remaining 1 cup dressing over the top.
Chill in fridge till ready to serve and then toss it all together.