I am a huge fan of leftovers, but that doesn’t mean they always have to be a full meal. Don’t hesitate to have just cooked ingredients ready in the fridge. Then you can put them to use in different ways. That makes variety super simple.
This grilled vegetable orzo salad is just one of many things that I make with a mix of veggies. It’s a very easy recipe that’s filling for a main, but it also feels right for a side.
How To Grill Vegetables
When I prep vegetables for the grill, I cut them into pieces that are large enough not to fall through the grates of the grill. But they aren’t so big that they won’t get the necessary grill marks and char.
After I cut the vegetables, I toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper before they hit the grill.
I keep them organized by type on the grill, so I can manage different cooking times for different vegetables.
The Best Vegetables for Grilling
For me, this is kind of a trick question. That’s because I will put pretty much any vegetable on the grill including broccoli and cauliflower.
Once you get the hang of it, you will find your preferred way to grill veggies.
This is what you need for this grilled vegetable orzo pasta:
White wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Is Orzo Pasta?
Even though orzo looks more like rice, it is pasta. I dice the vegetables, so they are a small size that’s balanced with the orzo grains.
If you want, you can substitute orzo with brown rice, pearl couscous, barley or another grain that is strong enough to stand up to weight of all those grilled vegetables. So I wouldn’t use quinoa.
How To Make A Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad
First, I preheat the grill. Then in the time I have before the grill is ready, I make the orzo on the stovetop.
Once the orzo is cooked and al dente, I drain it and toss it in a large bowl with olive oil, white wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Not only does this add flavor to the orzo, it also prevents the grains from sticking together while you grill the vegetables.
Before heading out to the grill, I toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper.
With the grill hot, I arrange the vegetables on the grates by type. They will be done within minutes of each other, but I like to keep this organization.
Also, you know your grill better than anyone else. Mine definitely has hotter zones that no matter what I can’t seem to control. So there are certain areas that I have to watch more carefully.
When the vegetables have grill marks on one side, then I flip them over to the other side to finish.
Next, I dice the grilled vegetables and fold them into the orzo salad with chopped parsley.
How To Serve This Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad
As I mentioned, you can serve this vegetarian dish as a main or a side. And it tastes good warm, at room temperature or cold.
I guess technically it is a pasta salad since it’s dressed with a vinaigrette, but it’s so much more versatile than that.
You can even make it more of a salad by stirring in whatever lettuce or greens you have in your kitchen.