I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this summer orzo salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, so feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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1 package (16 ounces) orzo pasta
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
24 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped, optional
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Cook orzo according to package directions for al dente. Drain orzo; rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup water over medium heat. Add corn; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Add to orzo; stir in tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber, onion, mint and, if desired, capers. In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper until blended. Pour over orzo mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in almonds.
Summer Orzo Tips
What else can you add to summer orzo salad?
This summer orzo salad can be customized with almost any vegetable you find at the farmers market. Try adding grilled zucchini, roasted asparagus or sauteed bell peppers, or include a handful of fresh herbs such as basil or parsley. To make the salad more filling, add a protein like chicken, shrimp, tofu or chickpeas. Diced avocado is never a bad idea, either; it would add some creaminess to the salad.
This orzo salad requires about 30 minutes for the flavors to come together, but you can also let it marinate overnight. The leftovers are good for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but the vegetables may get a little soggy. If you’re preparing it in advance for an event, combine the cooked orzo with the olive oil dressing and store it, covered, in the refrigerator. Cook the remaining ingredients within 24 hours of serving so they maintain their tender-crisp texture.