Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fresh Corn Orzo with Tangy Lemon Vinaigrette

One of the things I love most about my friend and "best college roommate a girl could ever ask for", Lynn, is that she and I share a passionate love for good food.

Let me put it this way. Every lunch and dinner that we ate together in college, she and I didn't leave the dining hall until we'd hauled our bootys over to the cake counter and ice cream machine. We both share the same philosophy: A meal just isn't complete without dessert.

We love food. Period. So, when we were back East a few weeks go and she invited me and my family over for dinner, I knew two things: We'd have a delicious meal. And, we'd have dessert.

She made a blueberry crumb pie. Sweet mercy, I love her.

For dinner, Lynn made a delicious barbecue chicken, some fresh beans, and an orzo and fresh corn dish that I absolutely loved. It perfectly complemented the sweetness and spiciness of the chicken, and I sat there and ate it until I simply couldn't eat another bite.

So, I came home and used the base of Lynn's recipe to create a lemony version of her dish. I love lemon vinaigrettes - and I've been tweaking one for a while - trying to create just the right balance of flavors, and I knew that the orzo and corn combination from Lynn's recipe would be the perfect complement to my sweet, tangy lemon dressing.

This is a great side dish - perfect hot, room temperature, or cold. The fresh corn and multi-colored peppers are crisp and sweet, and provide perfect balance to the tangy dressing and orzo.

Try this one. But, be sure to use fresh corn. It should be inexpensive this time of year (it's 10/$2.00 at my grocery store), and is so very delicious in this recipe.


Fresh Corn Orzo with Tangy Lemon Vinaigrette

5 ears fresh corn
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add orzo and cook for 7 minutes. While orzo is cooking, remove corn from cob, carefully cutting corn off of the cob with a with a knife or corn zipper. After orzo cooks for 7 minutes, add corn to the pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Drain corn and orzo in a colander and set aside.

In a large bowl, using a whisk combine the juice of one lemon, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon rind from the juiced lemon and beat with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Add orzo and corn, peppers, basil and parsley. Toss to combine.

Serve hot, room temperature, or cold.

*I made this one evening for dinner and served it hot with grilled chicken. The next day, we had this cold for lunch with pizza. It was delicious both ways.


  1. This looks great! I made one of her recipes yesterday and can't wait to try it. I made her lemon icebox pie. (Hope I remembered the name right!)

  2. I sent the same lemon pie recipe Mari mentioned to my mother in law - I can't wait to hear what she thinks of it!

    Something about food and us easterners!! :-)

    This one looks yummy. Just so you know, I have a notebook filled with pages of your recipes that I get to try out now and then! And two have become standards the cake cookies and choc chip ones!! :)

  3. This one is definitely for us. Thanks Sarah -- and Lynn :-D.

  4. mmm...that really is a yummy dish. And, you can attest to the yumminess of the ice cream pie. That's a classic recipe. We had friends over last night for dinner, and I made another yummy dessert...perhaps I'll have to post that one too.

    We had such a blast with you guys. We are talking about a Michigan trip this fall...I'll let you know!

  5. I love the word tangy. And I love orzo, too. I'm SURE I would love this dish.