It has been hot hot hot in San Diego this weekend. Like in the 90s already. I have to say, that even though San Diego is ostensibly in the “perfect weather” category most of the year, this time of year is always a bit… not… as we either ramp up for intense heat waves, or ramp way down for the chilly/overcast May/June season. Meanwhile the rest of the country is going through a normal/ glorious progression of spring into summer and my Midwestern friends/family are talking about sunny appropriately mild spring weather and the first t-shirts of the season.
And our A/C is already working overdrive…
(But for real, I probably should not be complaining about San Diego weather… Sorry!!!!).
But… a few things came out of the recent heat wave.
For example… some people decided they didn’t care about corona virus anymore and flooded the beaches of Orange County. (? As an essential healthcare worker, I ask you… Why???????)
But because my family is still electing to stay at home, I’m still spending my time puttering around the kitchen, and this heatwave has brought on a burst of productivity in the fresh/healthy and easy recipe department. (Because isn’t that what summer is all about?)
Hence: Pasta Salad with Lemon and Dill.
This pasta salad could easily be made with any pasta shape you have on hand (orechiette I’m looking at you), but as we do these days, this recipe was born from the contents of my cupboard. Orzo was what we had, so orzo it was.
And let me tell you – it works!
The additions to this salad should be fairly accessible right now as well (at least they were for us). Tossed in with the pasta was some roughly chopped baby spinach, halved cherry tomatoes, peppers (any color will do, but we had orange on hand), red onion, some feta, and of course, the star of the show- dill!
Mix the whole thing with some homemade lemon vinaigrette, and voila! The perfect side dish (or, let’s be real, main dish) to meet all your heat wave foodie needs!
Pasta Salad with Lemon and DillCourse: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
1 lb orzo or other small pasta (orechiette works wonderfully)
3 handfuls fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
10.5 oz grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
4 oz crumbled feta
6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- For the dressing
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil orzo or other small pasta of your choice, per package instructions. (My orzo took about 9 minutes)
- While pasta is boiling, prepare your dressing – whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, dijon, and salt and pepper.
- When pasta is done, drain and rinse immediately with cool water to stop the cooking and prevent clumping.
- In a large bowl, toss together pasta, vegetables, feta, dill, and dressing.
- Stir to combine. OK to serve immediately, but will also be wonderful if made ahead and left to sit in the fridge to allow all the flavors to combine and the onion to mellow.