Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zucchini & Orzo Salad w/Basil

If you're growing them, you're trying to find something to do with them or you will be soon.
If you aren't, you may start finding them on your porch in the morning....

I'll admit, I've never felt the need to grow zucchini, but I've often been gifted with them and found ways to use them. This salad is probably one of my favorites.

I'm not sure if I had even tried zucchini before, but many years ago we were participating in the Landis Valley Herb & Garden Fair.

It was in the early days of the fair and Fridays were a by invitation only affair for the press and special friends of the museum. On Friday night, May wine was served along with a various little canapes.

On Saturday, lunch was catered and as (some of the few) vendors, lunch was free to us as a little something extra (for our $35 table fee!) One year, this salad was the main course and I loved it. I tried in vain to find the recipe and actually picked up a few other good ones along the way, but for some reason, the original was finally published in our newspaper and I was sure to copy it down. I hope you will enjoy it too!

Zucchini & Orzo Salad w/Basil

4 Med. Zucchini, coarsely grated
2 T. Salt
2 C. (packed) fresh basil
½ C. Olive Oil
3 med. garlic cloves
8 C. chicken broth
1# Orzo
¼ C. fresh lemon juice & zest
ground black pepper
1 C. imported Kalamata olives
Basil sprigs

Drain Zucchini in colander. Sprinkle with 1 T. salt. Let drain 30 min. Stir or shake twice. Squeeze dry. Transfer to large bowl. Fluff with hands to separate.
Place basil & olive oil in processor 1 minute, drop garlic in and blend.
Add Zucchini to basil mix.
Bring chicken broth to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in 1 T. salt and orzo, return to boil. Simmer 10-15 min. ‘til orzo is tender. Drain.
Stir all together and cool to room temp.
Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and zest (if desired) Season with pepper. Garnish with olives and basil sprigs.

For more zucchini recipes, visit my friends:

Becky - Zucchini Fritters
Tina - Zucchini Bread Recipes
Patricia – Stuffed Zucchini

Karen – Zucchini Pizza
Cindy – Calabacitas
Beth – Zucchini Brownies

Next, Cucumber!

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