Zucchini and Sundried Tomato Orzo

Kermit the frog might bemoan the difficulties of being a nice verdant shade, but he might change his tune if he were talking about eating green. Eating green fruits and vegetables, I mean. Zucchini, technically a fruit and technically technically a “pepo,” is one of the best green fruits around and thus is the perfect contender for summertime eats.

This recipe combines a lot of my favorite summer foods, from crisp, cheerful basil to tangy sun-dried tomatoes. Barring financial or physical constraints, eating seasonally becomes surprisingly easy in the summertime, and I try to load up on produce before the winter months rip everything except for potatoes from my cold, cold mouth. Sun-dried tomatoes might taste just as good year round, but they just work so nicely with the rest of the ingredients that I let them slide in here anyway.

I must warn you: this is not a very healthy recipe, necessarily. Everything is fried and olive oil features prominently. It’s just more delicious this way, in my humble opinion.

So here’s what you need:

1 small bunch of basil

1 small handful of sun-dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil + a little bit for the pan

1 package of orzo

3 large zucchinis

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: veggie or regular sausage

And here’s what you do:

Boil the water for the orzo. While that’s warming up, tear the leaves off the basil and throw it in a pan with some olive oil on low heat for just long enough to wilt it a bit. This step is not totally necessary, but wilted basil stays a nice green color and I like eating green. Throw the wilted basil in with the sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil in a food processor and let it go until it gets a pesto-like consistency.

Chop the zucchini into bite sized bits and put it in the pan. Fry on medium heat. This is where the optional sausage can get heated. I have no idea what to do with regular meat sausage, as this post’s category (Veg*) might suggest, but veggie sausage can just be thrown in with zucchini.

Cook the orzo according to directions. When it’s done and drained, put everything together and stir with vigor. Eat immediately or eat when it’s cold. Either way is pretty good.

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