Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad

Although I call it a salad, this dish is really a salad and side dish combo and that's what makes it great for me. A whole load of grilled vegetables make it salad-y and the orzo gives it carby bulk. Use whole wheat orzo and sprinkle on some cheese and you've got yourself a healthful meal. Make sure to grill the vegetables till they are cooked through but still have a little bite to it to give the salad good texture. The dressing seems strong but it gets absorbed into the orzo and really adds a nice mild background flavor. The key to it all though is the basil. The basil adds a burst of freshness that enlivens the whole dish. I served it on Shabbat but it got better as it sat in the refrigerator and it was a welcome addition at our Sunday BBQ. Enjoy!

3 Zucchini
3 Yellow Squash
1 Red onion
2 Orange Peppers
2 cups Orzo
6 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl Garlic wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbl fresh Basil

Slice the zucchini and squash horizontally into long strips. Cut the onion into thick circles and the peppers you can leave whole. Toss all the veggies with a little oil, salt and pepper and grill. While they cool, cook the orzo according to package instructions until just al-dente-make sure the pasta is not overdone and mushy.Combine the grilled veggies with the orzo including the juice that comes off of the vegetables. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic and pour over the orzo. Mix well to combine and let it sit at least half an hour so the flavors have time to meld. Before serving add the fresh basil.


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