This Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese is inspired by a recipe from Food & Wine Magazine. To take the salad to the next level, I added a buttery pan-seared scallop and cilantro micro greens. Completing this salad is the light and creamy roasted garlic mayonnaise salad dressing made with one of my favorite Greek Olive Oils from Melies.
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Recently I was in New York City visiting my sister, nieces and my beautiful mother. I also met the newest member of the family, my nephew Manuel Alejandro. He is adorable. I have five nieces, and he is the first baby boy. With the whole weekend full of “family time,” I still squeezed in some time to write this blog post for Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad. Here’s how it all played out...
The first day in NYC I took my mother and my two nieces to Chelsea Market. That's one of my favorite places to visit. We had a fantastic day checking out the different shops and restaurants, especially an Italian restaurant located on the right side of the main entrance. They serve freshly made pasta, and you can even buy the pasta at their shop to take home. We had dinner here, but before, we had a peaceful and beautiful walk on The High Line, also known as High Line Park. The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It's 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) and runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.
The second day my sister took me to Eataly at their NYC Flatiron location. It was my first time there, and I fell in love. This is my kind of store with gourmet products, fresh and beautiful vegetables and fruits, and restaurants all around the store in a very casual environment. I wish Miami would have something similar because I would be their best customer. I loved Eataly so much that we went back again on the final day of my trip. Luckily while I waited for my sister to pick me up, I sat at another of my favorite places, Rustic Table, and had breakfast and wrote this blog post.
My Inspiration that became this Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad
Now, it's time to talk about this Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad. The salad takes around 45 minutes to prepare from start to finish, and it's worth it. I don't really have a planning calendar for when each recipe is made, or the recipes I want to make. My inspiration in creating or adapting recipes comes from different sources. The first source is opening my fridge or pantry and seeing whatever half used jar or leftover product I have sitting in there. The second inspirational source is whatever ingredients are in season. I also get inspired by looking at recipes in magazines, and sometimes even other food bloggers.
My inspiration for this recipe was the in season fresh corn and zucchini, and the fresh cilantro micro greens from my friends at MicroGreens. Also, I had some homemade roasted garlic mayonnaise for a recipe I'm testing with Cuban flavors called “Arroz Imperial.” I still have to do some upgrades to that recipe before I can release it to you. It's one of my favorite Cuban foods and you will love it too. How to make the roasted garlic mayo is in the recipe notes below. Besides all that, the package of MicroGreens was open as well because I just finished making and writing about another salad, Yellow Pea Shoot Salad Recipe with Champagne Mustard Vinaigrette.
Preparing the Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad
Let's cook now! First, we boil the corn ears for about eight minutes. Then, I grilled them on my indoor electric grill until charred. You can omit the boiling step and go directly to the grill but they will take around 15 minutes to cook. Let cool and then cut the kernels off the cobs. I love to use my kitchen gadgets and this time I got a new Corn Peeler.
Cut the zucchini into thin circles and grill them until you see the grill marks on each side, six minutes total. I prefer to eat the zucchini still with a bit of crunchiness. For presentation purposes, I cut the circles in half. Place the corn and zucchini in a large bowl until you are ready to assemble the salad.
Cook the orzo al dente as per package instructions. Using a colander, drain the orzo and spread it onto a baking sheet lined with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, add the roasted garlic mayonnaise, Melies Olive Oil (click to buy in our online shop), lemon juice, shallot, chili powder, salt, pepper and a ½ cup of cilantro micro greens or chopped regular cilantro. Mix until is well combined. In the large bowl with the corn and zucchini, add the orzo and the dressing and combine.
The last step is to pan sear the scallops with olive oil. When you cook the scallops, the pan should be smoking hot. The only seasoning you will need is salt & pepper. Place them gently in the pan and don't touch them until you are ready to turn them to the other side. Cook for 1 & ½ minutes per side. Do not overcook them!!!!
Plate the grilled corn zucchini orzo salad into a dish and place the seared scallop on one side. Sprinkle chunks of goat cheese, and for me, more cilantro micro greens, just because I love the taste of these tiny greens.
Wine to go with Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad
If you are a wine drinker, serve with a citrusy white wine like:
- Chardonnay - typical taste: Green apple, citrus, pineapple, papaya
- Pinot Blanc - typical taste: Green apple, citrus
- Riesling - typical taste: Green apple, citrus, apricot, peach, honeysuckle
- Sauvignon/Fumé Blanc - typical taste: Grass, herb, citrus, pineapple, peach
Honestly, the grilled corn zucchini orzo salad is one of the best salad recipes. This salad has an excellent texture combination with creamy, tender and crunchy bites. The roasted garlic mayonnaise dressing is creamy, but it's light on the mayonnaise. The tangy aftertaste from the goat cheese and the peppery taste from the micro cilantro create the perfect nibble. The pan-seared scallops are the best match for this salad with their delicate taste and buttery texture.
I'm so happy and proud of the photos for this Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad because every ingredient looks as good as it tastes, and tastes as good as it looks. Also, the dish looks stunningly displayed on the new Playground Collection from my friends at Bauscher USA. I sent them the pictures before the release of this post, and they love the whole composition of the photos. They shared on their Instagram account and in their internal monthly newsletter in the social spotlight section. I feel so thrilled about this shutout.
This month is “clean eating month” in our home with a series of salads and healthy dishes. Geoffrey’s not so happy about it, but he’s not the one cooking. As you know, autumn is just around the corner and the fall season it's all about pumpkin, decadent desserts, and fabulous meals....but we will still try to bring you a few healthy dishes. (Don’t tell Geoffrey!)
You can also check out these other salad recipes:
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Tuna, Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Santa Fe Salad Dressing on a Rainbow Salad
- Classic Nicoise Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
- Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad | Summer Salad
And, if you have some grilled corn leftover, why not make the best guacamole ever.
Your Recipe Concierge
UPDATE: This recipe is part of the 11 Best & Favorite Summertime Grilling RecipesPrint
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