Contact Form

    News Details

    Recipe: Have a lot of summer squash? Try making this salad
    • July 4, 2023

    This time of year, summer gardens and farmers markets yield an abundance of squash, primarily yellow crookneck, and zucchini. Here’s a delicious salad that uses both varieties raw, cut into 3/8-inch dice.

    Olives make a great garnish for this colorful mix. Their salty brininess adds an appealing contrast. Olives with their pits still in place taste better than pitted, but if using the unpitted beauties, be sure to put them off to the side rather than atop each serving so guests have a better visual clue that they aren’t pitted.

    For a vegetarian version, omit the salami.

    Summer Squash Orzo Salad

    Yield: 6 servings

    1 teaspoon salt

    8 ounces orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

    2 medium yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, cut in 3/8-inch dice

    2 medium zucchini squash, trimmed, cut in 3/8-inch dice

    1/2 large red onion, cut in 1/4inch dice

    1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 3/8-inch dice

    1 cup grape tomatoes or cherry, halved lengthwise

    Minced zest of 1 lemon (colored portion of peel)

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    2 teaspoons salt

    Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

    4 cups washed fresh baby spinach or mixed baby greens

    1 ounce salami, cut in 1/8-inch dice

    1/2 cup crumbled feta

    1/2 cup drained olives, such as kalamata or Niçoise

    Optional garnish: Microgreens


    1. Bring large pot of water to boil on high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt and orzo; cook until al dente. Drain, refresh with cold water. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.

    2. Place squash, red onion, bell pepper and tomatoes in large bowl. Gently toss. In small bowl or 4-cup measuring cup with handle, combine zest, juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and parsley. Stir to thoroughly combine. Pour on vegetables and toss. Add orzo and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    3. Divide spinach between 6 small plates. Top with vegetable-orzo mixture. Sprinkle each serving with diced salami and crumble feta on top. Place a small pile of olives off to the side of each salad. If desired, scatter some microgreens (tiny immature greens) on top of salad.

    Source: “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” by Cathy Thomas (Wiley)

    Cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at [email protected]

    Related Articles

    Restaurants Food and Drink |

    Quick Fix: Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread is an easy-to-make vegetarian dinner

    Restaurants Food and Drink |

    Recipe: Take advantage of apricot season by making this dessert

    Restaurants Food and Drink |

    Recipe: Your barbecued ribs deserve a rub

    Restaurants Food and Drink |

    Recipes: Make these dishes to elevate your Fourth of July feast

    Restaurants Food and Drink |

    Recipe: This Tuscan Chicken Pasta dish gets a boost from lots of garlic and lemon juice


    ​ Orange County Register