I got this recipe out of the September 2011 issue of Everyday Food, and I only changed it a tiny bit. It looks pretty bland, to be honest, but it tastes wonderful. You can eat it hot, cold, or room temperature. I think it’s best at room temperature. We ate it with salmon, but it would be a great side dish with a lot of different things.
Note: It makes a huge batch. If you don’t want to eat leftovers for days and days, I would recommend halving the recipe. Even then you will probably have leftovers. If you have a big family: don’t bother doubling it.
- 6 medium zucchini, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. uncooked orzo pasta
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- 5 cups corn kernels (from 6 ears of corn, or you can do what I did and measure out 5 cups of drained, no-salt-added canned corn)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (you can also add 1 Tbs lemon zest, but I didn’t)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1-2 cups crumbled feta cheese
It is delightfully quick to make, especially if you’re quick at chopping the zucchini.
- Place chopped zucchini in a colander in the sink and toss with a few teaspoons of salt. Let sit 20 minutes.
- Cook orzo in boiling salted water according to package directions (do this while the zucchini is sitting). It should only take about 8-10 minutes. Drain, then add enough ice cubes to the pot to cool it down and stop it from cooking any more. When it’s cool, discard the ice cubes and drain any remaining water. Transfer the orzo to a large bowl.
- Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the corn, zucchini, 3 Tbs oil, onion, jalapeno and lemon juice to the bowl of orzo. Season with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy – you want lots of flavor!
- Stir in basil and feta. Try to stop taking bites of the delicious concoction before it’s actually time for dinner.