Summer Squash & Corn Orzo

I brought these little cuties home from the farmers market last weekend. If you’ve been following, you might have noticed that I have a little obsesssion for all things mini, so I just couldn’t resist the these teeny tiny patty pan squashes.

I’m going to chalk it up to the heat, but I’ve been spacey lately. When I was ready to start cooking, I stood in my kitchen and realized the only thing I had intentionally planned to go with my sautée of mini squashes were some chives. I mean, there’s something to be said for turning vegetarian “sides” into full meals… but chives are maybe not the most filling way to achieve that.

At first glance, my near-empty fridge offered no help. Then this gorgeous recipe of Aida’s popped into my mind, and I realized I had enough to make something similar. I ended up changing a few things according to what I had (or rather, didn’t have) on hand, and also took a slightly more summery spin. (Her story with the recipe was about a blustery day in San Francisco — and it sure is/was/will-seemingly-always-be 105 degrees here).

Click here to go to her site for the full recipe.

Below is is how my little rendition went (my quantities here served 2 people)

squash sautee:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
about 2 cups sliced summer squash – (zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan, etc)
1/2 cup corn (I used frozen, by all means use fresh if you have it)
1 garlic clove, minced
generous splash of white wine, to deglaze the pan (or big squeeze of lemon)
salt, pepper

pasta toss:
3/4 cup uncooked whole grain orzo (or sub in a gluten free grain)
reserve 1/2 cup of salty pasta water once orzo is done
1 cup of basil leaves torn
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup feta (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
1/4 cup chopped chives
pinch of red pepper flake

other optional add-ins: (especially if you skip the cheese above)
sun dried tomatoes
drizzle of balsamic

And these are the only changes I made to her instructions:

– instead of adding olive oil at the end of cooking the squash, I added a splash of wine and let it cook down for a few minutes. This gave it a nice light zing. I would normally add a squeeze of lemon instead, but I didn’t have any that day.

– I didn’t add butter to my reserved pasta water because I was trying to be light. Also I hadn’t noticed that step while I was cooking.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Courtney Jones from on said:

    Making this for dinner tomorrow! Thanks for the awesome idea 🙂

  2. Maeydelynn on said:

    I love all of your recipes and would like to start using locally grown produce. but Im not sure where to go! I lice in Austin in well and was wondering where you go? Which farmers market do you like best?

    • jeanine from on said:

      The SFC farmers markets have a few times/locations: ( I go to the Saturday one downtown because it’s closest to me, but I *think* most of the same farmers show up at each. Or if we’re not up and out early enough on Saturday mornings, we also like the Hope farmers market on Sunday afternoons ( I especially love the produce from Johnson’s Backyard Garden (it’s the biggest tent, you can’t miss it), and they have a stand at all of the farmers markets ( You can buy produce separately or join their CSA which has more pickup & delivery options.

      I’m also a member of Farmhouse Delivery (they bring your stuff right to your door which is convenient)

      hope that helps!

  3. Eileen from on said:

    Hooray for teeny weeny squashes! I never know what to do with these little guys–thanks for the great idea!

  4. Jess from on said:

    Love the combination of flavors with the feta and basil kick! Beautiful summer recipe.

  5. Oh what a symphony of textures! I can just feel the explosion of the sweet corn next to the soft bite of the orzo and pine nuts, then everything swimming in the sunny flavors of sauteed squash. You are making my day right now! I’ll see if I can find some minis at my Farmer’s Market this weekend!

  6. Heather from on said:

    It is totally the summer heat – I went to make dinner last night which the main ingredient was mushrooms and didn’t have a mushroom in sight, sometimes though the best dishes are made when improvisions are a required 🙂

  7. kale from on said:

    I love all things mini, too! Especially gorgeous little squash minis!

  8. Lesley from on said:

    Just found your blog through pinterest! Love it and this dish, too!

  9. Kendra on said:

    I could not stop eating this last night, Jeanine!

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  11. Renae from on said:

    Sounds delish! Will have to try soon!

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