Grilled Zucchini Orzo

November  8, 2011
7 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 4 servings
Author Notes

This recipe uses a LOT of flavor, but don't be scared of it. When I created this, I was a little nervous about all the flavors myself, but it came together so well. You get some serious zing from the vinegar, but everything is mellowed by the goat cheese. Give it a try! —Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Test Kitchen Notes

We loved the big flavors in BSFB’S recipe, which is summer comfort food if there’s such a thing—cheesy but bright, with plenty of acid and a more or less equal zucchini-to-carb ratio. The initial recipe called for an additional 1/2 cup of olive oil, but we’ve omitted it because it diluted the sesame and butter too much. If you want more sesame (we did), add more sesame oil to taste. The recipe is perfect for a picnic or outdoor party, but just as good as a packed lunch that begs to be enjoyed away from your computer. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Orzo
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 3 zucchinis (any variety, halved)
  • 1 vine ripened tomato (quartered)
  • 1 spring onion (quartered)
  • 5 cloves garlic (whole, in peel), more if you like garlic
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (125g) goat cheese
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, parsley, dill, or mixed herbs chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat grill or grill pan over medium high heat. Brush or rub zucchini, tomato, spring onions, and garlic cloves with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add veggies to grill. (I used my grill pan, but if you use a grill you may want to wrap the garlic in foil.) Cook until the veggies have a nice brown crust and the garlic is soft, about 6 minutes on each side. When done and cool enough to handle, cut everything into bite-sized pieces and place in a large mixing/serving bowl.
  2. Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions and make sure to salt the water really well. In the meantime, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside. Drain orzo with a colander and add it to the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter and the vinaigrette to the orzo. Mix until the butter is melted. Taste and adjust ingredients as you see fit, but be wary of salt since goat cheese is salty and you haven’t added it yet.
  4. Top with goat cheese. Mix lightly if you want chunks of goat cheese, and more vigorously if you want a more uniform, silky goat cheese taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish and dig in.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nikkitha Bakshani
    Nikkitha Bakshani
  • Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
    Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
  • Linda D
    Linda D

10 Reviews

Linda D. May 5, 2024
Thank you so much! Absolutely delicious! No fresh herbs on hand so I used 1 tbls dried dill and 1 tbls dried parsley. No red wine vinegar on hand. Sherry vinegar was used in its place.
ks.grand June 9, 2023
I've tried this recipe about 3 times already and I'm in love! I've been eating it without the cheese but it's still fantastic– versatile, keeps well, and is a great work lunch.
Avihaa August 17, 2022
It is looking so Yummy ..Thank you for sharing this recipe.. My Mouth is tempting for it ..
NXL July 29, 2020
I was really surprised at how good the sesame oil was in this. I feared it would overwhelm everything, and it did not. For me the host cheese was too sour. Also, I think the butter unnecessary. It got lost.
Jessica July 16, 2019
This was so yummy!! I added some roasted red peppers and grilled shrimp and it was heavenly. (also subbed feta in for the goat cheese)
Nikkitha B. July 16, 2019
Yay!!! Lovely idea to add shrimp, i’m going to do that next time :)!
Brussels S. July 16, 2019
Thanks, Jessica! So glad you enjoyed it and love the idea of grilled shrimp!
Nikkitha B. May 1, 2019
Love love love this recipe! Vinaigrette is perfect, going to use it on anything, and will try broiling the veggies in the winter.
Eric K. May 1, 2019
Brussels S. July 16, 2019
Thank you so much!! I'm glad you enjoyed the salad!