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Grilled Squash and Orzo Salad with Pine Nuts and Mint

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 in this orzo salad and squash recipe. Use a grill basket so you don’t lose any cherry tomatoes and baby squash.

serves 4


2 lb (1 kg) mixed yellow squash and zucchini

11/2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 lb (250 g) orzo pasta

1/2 cup (21/2 oz/75 g) pine nuts

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

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From the Organic Authority Files

3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

Parmesan cheese for shaving (optional)


Trim and cut the squash lengthwise into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Put in a bowl 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, turning once, until tender, 5–8 minutes total. Let cool and cut into 11/2-inch (4-cm) 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 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.

This recipe comes from Salad of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year. Images and recipes courtesy of author Georgeanne Brennan and Weldon Owen Publishing.

Want more salad recipes? Try some of our favorites:
Farro Salad Recipe
Easy Organic Coleslaw with Dried Cranberries
Organic Heirloom Carrot Salad 
Grilled Endive with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Hale Kale Salad 

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