Simple Summer Salad

There are two things I’m loving right now: summer and the weekly Farmer’s Market bags I get from Specialty Produce. Today’s post is a combination of those two things with a recipe for you.

Specialty Produce is a wholesale distributor of produce in San Diego. One reason they are well known is because of their Farmer’s Market bags, which are a weekly assortment of fruits and vegetables grown organically from local farms. It’s different from a CSA box (community supported agriculture) because you’re getting produce from several farms, rather than just one.

One of the reasons I love the Farmer’s Market bag is that it inspires me to use fruits and veggies on a regular basis. Some of the items in recent bags included zucchini, leeks, and red, green and purple peppers (did you know there’s a purple pepper?!). I decided to make a summer salad based on Ina Garten’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetable salad but with my own twist. It was delicious, light and refreshing for a summer evening. Try it yourself with any type of vegetable. This would be a great 4th of July side dish! 

Simple Summer Salad

1 red pepper

1 purple pepper

1 green pepper

1 chopped leek

3 zucchini, cut in “coins”

2 tsp. garlic

olive oil

1 cup orzo pasta, cooked

2 cups spinach (I use fresh)

3 lemons (juiced)

1/2 – 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and place on top the peppers, leeks, zucchini and garlic. Top with olive oil (about 1/4 cup), salt and pepper. Mix veggies together so they’re all covered with the oil and seasonings. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the orzo until tender. When done, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the juice of the lemons, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. When the veggies are done, add to the orzo mixture and stir. Then add the spinach and feta. Taste for salt, pepper or more lemon juice.  Serve room temperature or cold.

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