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Recipe | Summer Orzo Salad

Summer Orzo Salad Recipe

Summer Orzo Salad
Happy Canada Day! I am not Canadian, but I have had an affinity for the fine country to our north ever since discovering Kids in the Hall at the tender age of 12. (I really shouldn’t have been watching Kids in the Hall at the tender age of 12.) And also, Happy 4th of July a few days early because I’m taking Thursday off. I’m going to spend the day celebrating America by throwing bang snaps on the driveway while chanting “USA! USA!” This is the freedom that our founding fathers envisioned when they sailed over on the Santa Maria so many years ago.

Last year, I was eagerly anticipating July 4th because I’d have time off from the job I hated. And then a month later, when I was laid off, I felt completely crushed, despite the fact that I had daydreamed about quitting for a good year or so. Since it’s almost a year since I started blogging full-time, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately–where I was a year ago vs. where I am today. And even where I am today vs. where I was a few years ago. I went from being a librarian and planning on getting a second master’s or PhD to running a food blog for a living. I’m sure to most rational people, that sounds like a terrible, terrible decision, on par with, “I think I’m going to quit my job as an accountant and start a reggae band,” but I feel like I’m finally able to express a creativity that was always just under the surface, but I never quite had an outlet for.

Green Beans, Grape Tomatoes, and Corn

Summer Orzo Salad
Back on topic: 4th of July! I don’t have cake topped with Cool-Whip and berries arranged to form the American flag for you today, but I do have a light Summer Orzo Salad recipe. It can easily be doubled or tripled, so it’s perfect for bringing to your next summer get-together. Every summer get-together needs a pasta salad, right? It also makes a great main dish when you need something easy for dinner. With the hot weather we’ve been having here, I’ve been craving light, fresh meals like this.

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Summer Orzo Salad

Summer Orzo Salad Recipe

A simple summer pasta salad made with orzo, grape tomatoes, fresh corn, and green beans.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings as main dish or about 6 servings as a side

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. orzo
  • 1 c. green beans, trimmed
  • 2 ears corn, kernels removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. torn basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook orzo according to package. Two minutes before cooking time is done, add green beans to pot. Drain in a fine mesh colander and rinse with cold water.
  2. Transfer orzo and green beans to a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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78 Comments

  • Reply
    Grace @ Perpetual Nomming
    July 1, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Green Beans, hands down, are my favorite summer veggie! Summer salads = best thing about summer. I just love how there are hundreds of different ones out there!

    I really do love Canada, too. Happy Canada day!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      I love green beans too. I resolved to use them in more recipes this summer because I feel like I’m putting corn and zucchini in everything and forgetting about green beans!

  • Reply
    Paula - bell'alimento
    July 1, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Such a perfect summer salad!

  • Reply
    Shirley
    July 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I would take an orzo salad over a cheesy flag cake any day. I used to make an orzo salad with roasted vegetables, but I like the freshness of yours. Plus I can never get enough of tomatoes and corn in the summer. Wait, did you eat those raw tomatoes? 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Ha ha ha! I was wondering if someone would point that out. I picked them out! 😀

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    July 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    You are simple phenomenal at this gig, and I’m so glad pieces aligned so that you could do this full time. I am beyond happy for everything good that has come your way. So so happy, seriously!!! Muah!

    Oh, and this recipe looks scrumptious as always. It’s just I got distracted…

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Aw, thank you Liz! You have been commenting on my blog since (almost!) the beginning–isn’t that crazy!?

  • Reply
    dishing up the dirt
    July 2, 2013 at 12:55 am

    heat wave 2013 is in full swing up where we are! this orzo salad is just what the doctor ordered! love it!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes
    July 2, 2013 at 1:00 am

    I agree..every summer picnic needs a pasta salad! Love how easy this looks to make!

  • Reply
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective
    July 2, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Such a fresh and lovely salad, Kiersten!

  • Reply
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    July 2, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Mmmmm … looks so good! I gotta say, I think you made a great career decision! (And I say that with complete affection for librarians, my dad and one of my dearest friends both having been just that!) Enjoy those bang-snaps! I’ve got some smoke balls, hatching snakes and sparklers secreted away in my own closet!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Snakes! I just saw a tutorial on how to make your own snakes and I spent a good 5 minutes contemplating it yesterday. “Should I make my own snakes? I have everything I need! I should make snakes!”

      I still have lots of friends who are librarians. I don’t think they quite understand why I gave it up, but I think you need to have a lot of patience and passion to be a librarian. Patience is one thing I do not have. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley
    July 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

    This salad sounds so good right now – it’s been horribly hot and humid by us lately and I have no desire to make anything heavy. I hope you have a great fourth of July!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      I know, here too! I just want salads and fruit and lemonade.

  • Reply
    Grace @ Earthy Feast
    July 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I’m all about one-dish-meals like this when it starts to get really hot. Everything you could possible want all in one bowl – yummy!

  • Reply
    Jennie @themessybakerblog
    July 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Blogging full-time sounds so much better than your previous job. I’d much rather spend an hour with corn than deal with unhappy patients all day. I’ve thought about blogging full-time, but I’m not sure the money is there yet. This salad sounds and looks amazing. Your photography is amazing. What type of lens do you use?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      For this photo set, I used a Canon 24-70mm lens. I got an amazing deal on a used one at B&H. 🙂

      Transitioning to blogging full-time when you have a full-time job is such a catch-22. You want to be making money before you quit your job, but it’s hard to be making that kind of money before you quit your job. I was stuck like that for so long and then getting laid off made the decision for me!

  • Reply
    Holly
    July 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    This is EXACTLY the recipe I needed today– perfect timing! I wanted an orzo salad to have with salmon for dinner tomorrow night. I have company arriving and I wanted to make something ahead of time and this orzo salad is it! Is this something I could serve chilled? I’ll give it a try. I’ve had orzo in the pantry for weeks and not done anything with it yet. Thanks for this recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Sorry I’m a little late in replying to this! Since you rinse the pasta in cold water, this is a cold salad even if you serve it right away. You can make it ahead of time and keep it chilled in the fridge, then serve it without heating too. 🙂

  • Reply
    mjskit
    July 3, 2013 at 12:20 am

    What a delicious orzo salad! Definitely screams summer eating! I can see this as a great side for Thursday BBQ! Happy Fourth!

  • Reply
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen
    July 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I’m pretty sure I hear this salad screaming ‘summer’! This looks so fresh and absolutely delicious!

  • Reply
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    July 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    So refreshing and colorful!! It’s summer in a plate, Kiersten 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna (Hidden Ponies)
    July 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Thanks for thinking of us on Canada Day 🙂 This looks like a wonderful summer dish!

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    July 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve never made anything with orzo before because I just can’t decide if I like it or not, but I don’t see how I couldn’t like this summery dish! Hope you’re enjoying your holiday today – you deserve a little break!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      That’s funny! There are pasta shapes I don’t like either and I don’t understand why–it’s all made with the same stuff!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian
    July 5, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Lovely fresh colours and flavours. I love orzo pasta (we call it risoni here in Australia). It’s also used a lot in Greek cooking. Risoni can be a bit slimy if it’s overcooked but yours looks like it’s been cooked to perfection! Gorgeous 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      I usually undercook my pasta ever-so-slightly. I like it to be a little chewy. 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    July 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Yay for the freedom to not go back to crappy jobs!! I can’t believe it’s been a year. And my fave summer salad of all time has orzo in it – this looks amazing. Love your photos & styling 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      I just heard from someone I know who’s still working there and apparently it has gotten even crappier in the past year. So now I’m even happier that I got laid off!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    July 7, 2013 at 12:26 am

    I am so proud of you and thrilled that you have been able to allow your creative juices to flow! These photos are just beautiful! Keep in the back of your mind the blogger, photographer that now has a network cooking show, several cookbooks, a novel, travels across the US doing book signings and now is pumping out children’s books about her dog Charlie. It all started with her blog! I HAVE FAITH IN YOU that you can too be a major success!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Thank you for your support! 🙂 I don’t know if I ever want to be THAT big, but I definitely hope to write more cookbooks!

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    July 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I’ve been craving an orzo salad ever since I had one at a potluck in May; they’re so fresh and light and perfect for summer! I’m a bit late on this as I just got back from vacation myself, but thanks for the Canada Day wishes and hope you had a great 4th of July!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      I did–thank you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Hazel @ fresherfood
    July 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    We finally have beautiful weather here in London and this looks ideal for a picnic. I’ve only ever used orzo in soups like minestrone but I’m sorely tempted by this salad. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      This is definitely a great salad for a picnic! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ronnie Fein
    July 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

    So easy, so colorful, so refreshing. This one is a wow for me.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    July 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Honestly this looks way more appetizing than Cool Whip anyway! Yum!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    November 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Thank goodness I found your blog yesterday! I just made enough to last me a few days, which is great for this hot weather and a good go-to meal while I’m busy with uni exams. It is super tasty, and I added some chickpeas just because they were in the cupboard. Will definitely make this one again 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Well, you definitely live in the Southern hemisphere! I wish it was warm here so I could eat fresh corn and basil. 😀 Good luck with your exams!

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