Seasoned Summertime Salad- Orzo with Grilled Vegetables

Even though summer doesn’t actually end until late September, this coming weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. I’m not ready to let go yet! And clearly, my local LCBO isn’t ready either. They recently published volume three of their BBQ guide, which contains some great recipes along with wine pairings. Granted, I actually didn’t use my barbecue for this recipe (because I was making the recipe dairy, and I only use my barbecue for meat- the trials and tribulations of a kosher home!), but it would certainly have come in handy to grill up the veggies in this recipe a lot quicker. I lugged out my George Forman grill, and upon doing so, decided it’s time to invest in something that is easier to clean, but I digress!

This simple (but time consuming if you don’t use your BBQ) pasta salad recipe is a perfect one for a late summer get together. I adjusted the recipe by swapping shrimp for the mock stuff, and by reducing the oil by about a third, and using some garlic olive oil on the mock shrimp instead of just straight olive oil. The recommendation was to pair it with a Jackson Triggs Pinot Grigio, which I definitely agree would go really well together, but we had a Dalton White Canaan already open so we finished that off instead.

Happy last weekend of summer!

Summertime Orzo Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Shrimp

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1 red onion, cut into 8
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 red pepper, quartered
1 yellow pepper, quartered
3 tbsp olive oil (1 being garlic olive oil, if you have it)
1 cup (measured uncooked) orzo pasta
1- 1.5 packages mock crab or shrimp
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. On a  grill sprayed with PAM or olive oil over medium high heat, cook all vegetables, turning once, for about 10 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove from grill, and cut into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl.
  2. While veggies are grilling, cook orzo in a pot of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes (al dente) or to your desired tenderness. Drain and rinse until cool, then drain well again and add to bowl with veggies.
  3. Toss mock shrimp with 1 tbsp olive oil, minced garlic, a pinch of hot pepper flakes, and 1 tbsp of the parsley. Cook on the stovetop for about 5 minutes, and then add to bowl.
  4. Whisk together remaining oil, white wine vinegar, parsley, mint, basil and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss to combine. Serve room temperature.

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