Zucchini and Pea Orzo Salad

Is anyone else in a seasonal confused state of mind like me? I’m craving all things Fall but I’m still enjoying summer foods.

I’m watching Fall and Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. I’m seeing Halloween candy and decorations in the stores. Starbucks is already talking about the date PSLs will go on sale. I’ve got Fall inspiration photos on my social media feeds. Naturally, this means that I’m influenced so I’m starting to think about how I’ll decorate the house for Fall and what kinds of pumpkin and apple goodies to make. Fall is my favorite season so I guess it makes sense that I’m eager for it, but still. I think my husband is tired of me complaining about the hot weather because I’m in Fall mode. For anyone taking notes, it’s only mid August, which is easily the hottest month in this part of the country, so of course it’s hot.

Well, I may be excited for Fall but I still want all the summer fresh fruits and veggies, like in this zucchini orzo salad. Everything about this dish is wonderfully delicious, especially the roasted garlic. It’s just an accent flavor here, but I had never roasted garlic before and it’s life changing. This orzo salad is really versatile. Once zucchini is out of season, you can swap in another veggie like butternut squash or sweet potatoes and it will be equally fabulous. Yup, I’m definitely in Fall mode. 😉

Zucchini and Pea Orzo Salad Recipe
(Makes about 4 servings)

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, skin removed and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic (keep the skin on the garlic cloves!)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • sprinkling of salt
  • sprinkling of pepper
  • 8 ounces dry orzo
  • about 2 cups of peas (I used a 10 ounce bag of frozen peas.)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • sprinkling of chopped fresh dill
  • dressing (see below)

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • sprinkling of salt
  • sprinkling of pepper

Directions for the Salad:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Place the sliced zucchini, sliced shallots, and cloves of garlic (keep the skin on the garlic cloves) on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Pour the olive oil on top of everything, season with salt and pepper, and mix it all together, making sure that everything is coated well.
  4. Cook in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until they are slightly browned. (I turned the zucchini over about half way through the cooking time, but I don’t think that is required. It took 40 minutes in my oven and I removed the shallots and garlic at about 30-35 minutes into the cooking time. I recommend you keeping an eye at about the 30 minute mark and check frequently to see if you need to remove some of the veggies.)
  5. When the garlic is done and they are cool enough to handle, remove them from their peels and set them aside. (I found that if they sit in the peels for too long then the cloves are difficult to remove.)
  6. While the veggies are in the oven, cook the orzo according to the directions on the box. Strain and set it aside.
  7. Cook the peas according to the bag (if yours are in a bag that is) and then set them aside.
  8. To prepare the salad, in 1 big bowl or each person’s plate:
    • Place the cooked orzo.
    • Add the cooked zucchini, shallots, and garlic.
    • Add the cooked peas.
    • Add the crumbled feta cheese.
    • Pour some dressing on top.
    • Sprinkle some chopped fresh dill on top.
    • Mix together.

Directions for the Dressing:

  1. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk together.
  2. Taste it and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

Adapted from: All Types of Bowls

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