Make Ahead

Summertime orzo pasta salad with slow roasted cherry tomatoes, corn, and zucchini

August  6, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Gari Dee
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 45 minutes
  • serves 6
Author Notes

The farm stands and farmers' markets are full of fresh summer vegetables, and I decided to let three of my favorites highlight a cool refreshing pasta salad. Fresh summer cherry tomatoes, tossed in fresh cut herbs and slow roasted to bring out all their sweetness, and nothing is more summer than corn cut from the cob and zucchini given a quick roast and tossed all these summer flavors in orzo pasta with a dressing made from roasted shallot and garlic and finished with tangy feta cheese —Gari Dee

What You'll Need
  • Roasted tomatoes, corn and zucchini
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh corn cut from the cob in whole kernels
  • 2 each small zucchini cut in 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregana
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 3 turns fresh ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic pealed and left whole
  • 1 shallot, pealed and cut in half
  • pasta ingredients
  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 turns ground pepper
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  1. Roasted tomatoes, corn and zucchini
  2. Finally, chop all the herbs and add them to a bowl big enough to toss all your vegetables in
  3. To the chopped herbs, add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the 2 pinches of kosher salt, and the 3 turns of the pepper grinder; I prefer the 5 pepper blend for this
  4. Mix well, remove 1 tablespoon of this mixture and set aside
  5. Add the cherry tomatoes to your bowl and toss to cover them in your herb mixture.
  6. Add the garlic and shallot and toss again
  7. Pour this mixture onto a parchment paper-covered heavy baking sheet
  8. Slow roast in a 300-degree oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes stirring halfway thru cooking time
  9. While your tomatoes are roasting, cut your corn from the cob and add it to the same bowl your tomatoes were in without washing the bowl.
  10. Cut your zucchini into 1/2 inch dice and add it to the bowl with the corn
  11. Add the 1 tablespoon reserved herb mixture to your corn and zucchini and toss well, set this aside until the tomatoes come out of the oven.
  1. pasta ingredients
  2. While your vegetables are roasting you can start getting your pasta and dressing ready.
  3. cook the orzo in salted boiling water for 9 minutes, drain and run cold water over to cool it down toss in a bit of oil to keep it from sticking together, and set aside.
  4. Take your lemon and zest it, place the zest in with your cooked orzo, and juice the lemon. Add the lemon juice to the bowl of your food processor.
  5. To the lemon juice in your food processor, add the mustard, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Now we must wait for the tomatoes to come out of the oven to finish our dressing.
  6. Remove the tomatoes from the oven, scoop out the shallot and garlic cloves and add them to the food processor.
  7. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the roasted tomatoes and add them to the food processor.
  8. Add the remaining tomatoes to the orzo and on the same pan, and on the same parchment, add the corn and zucchini, and place in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes stirring halfway thru.
  9. Now back to the food processor, give all the ingredients a few whirls to combine and puree the shallot and garlic.
  10. With the motor running slowly, add the olive and the vegetable oil to emulsify the dressing.
  11. Pour the dressing over the pasta and mix well.
  12. Remove the corn and zucchini from the oven and let them cool down, and add to the orzo once cool.
  13. Add the feta 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and mix well.
  14. Chill the pasta salad for 6 to 8 hours, stir well, and serve
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