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Summer is officially here, and that means we’re whipping out all of our favorite recipes for grilling and chilling after a long winter. And if there’s anyone who understands the grillin’ and chillin’ life, it’s Guy on Fire author Guy Fieri. But he’s not content with the boring basics you might have grown up with, like dry potato salad, overcooked burgers, and bland pasta side dishes. In fact, Fieri’s version of pasta salad is so loaded with flavor, it just might steal the show at your next summer soiree, and even better? The food processor does most of the work for you.
Guy Fieri’s orzo pasta salad is inspired by the Muffuletta sandwich, one of the most famous foods in New Orleans. The sandwich was created by Italian immigrants to the city, and features a thick stack of Italian cured meats, provolone cheese, and a special dressing that keeps the flavors bright and tangy: an olive salad.
It’s that olive salad that Fieri incorporates into his orzo. The salad is made from a combination of carrots, black olives, green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red bell pepper, celery, and onion. It all gets chopped up in the food processor, then gets marinated for two hours in a flavorful mix of garlicky red wine vinegar, olive oil, olive juice, and other seasonings.
If you stopped right there, you’d already have a fabulous addition to any cook-out. Imagine the briny, acidic, slightly sweet marinated vegetable salad as a topping for grilled chicken or fish, piled high on a burger, or used as a relish for hot dogs or polish sausages. Yum!
But Fieri doesn’t stop right there. He adds cooked orzo and feta cheese to the marinated olive and vegetable salad mixture, tossing everything together until the flavors are all beautfully melded. Fieri serves his orzo Muffaletta salad in lettuce cups with cherry tomatoes, which turns the salad into a delicious light lunch option. It’s got so much flavor, no one will miss the meat — not even Fieri!
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: A 5-Ingredient Grilled Pizza That’s Easier Than Ordering Takeout
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