Sides at a bar-b-que can be just as exciting as what is on the grill. Pasta salads are bar-b-que staple. I love the traditional mayonnaise based salad but it has been losing popularity. This fig summer squash orzo salad with yuzu vinaigrette is a fresh new take on the ever loved pasta salad. Giving the figs and squash a quick saute gives them an extra boost of flavor. The yuzu vinaigrette has a sweet but tangy bite to it and is much lighter than mayo. Which makes it perfect for a hot day.
Yuzu vinegar is gold colored vinegar that has a citrus taste to it. It is sometimes referred to as a Japanese lemon. At my grocery store I found in the aisle that holds all the different cooking oils, vinegars, and dressings. You can also purchase it from O Olive Oil and Vinegar . I love citrus notes it adds to marinades and dressings. Try brushing this vinaigrette on your chicken before throwing it on the grill!
Note: This post is NOT sponsored. I will always disclose when a post is in partnership with a product, person, or company.
Cook orzo according to package directions, drain, and put in a large bowl. While the orzo is still warm, fold in the spinach letting it wilt into the pasta. Set aside.
In large saute pan add a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Saute the spring onions for 2 minutes then add in the cut squash, sauteing until they begin the become soft. It takes about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and them a mix in the pan.
Add in the sliced figs and let them warm through in the pan. Be gently with the figs as they may fall apart a bit but warming them through in the pan gives them a little bit of caramelization.
Remove pan from heat and set aside while you make the vinaigrette.
In a small bowl whisk together yuzu vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.
Gently fold in your squash and figs into the orzo bowl. Then pour the Yuzu vinaigrette over the top and stir gently until the salad is well coated. Cover and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then serve!