As you can see here, I did not grill the zucchini (or the peppers for that matter) on the actual grill, since I was home by myself and didn't really want to turn it on. My grill pan did a very nice job, and you could use a Foreman grill or panini press as well if that's what you have.
This salad is nice at room temperature but you should definitely leave some time to chill it beforehand so that the flavors meld together. Enjoy this summery, fresh-tasting pasta salad!
Orzo with Grilled Summer Vegetables and Pesto Vinaigrette
adapted from epicurious.com
Makes 6-8 side dish servings
8 ounces orzo
4 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
1 large zucchini, halved and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices (just cut it so that it's easy to grill)
1 red bell pepper, quartered
2 1/2 tablespoons pesto
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
4-6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add orzo and cook until al dente, 8-9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.
Heat grill to medium-high heat, or heat a grill pan to medium-high. (If you use the grill pan, add a little olive oil to the pan.) Whisk 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar in small bowl. Brush zucchini and bell pepper on both sides with oil mixture, season with salt and pepper. Grill 3-4 minutes per side for zucchini and 4-5 minutes per side for pepper. Remove from heat and coarsely chop. Add to orzo.
Whisk together pesto, lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Add to orzo mixture along with tomato, cheese, and basil. Toss to combine, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Chill for 4-24 hours. Serve cold or at room temperature.