Good Food, Good Life, 365 – Summer Orzo Salad
This makes a big bowl full of salad–perfect for a potluck picnic or lunch for a week!
- 12 ounces uncooked orzo, approximately 1¾ cups
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped (this is the long “seedless” kind)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or about 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- A handful of basil leaves, chopped
- A handful of fresh dill leaves, chopped
- Fresh spinach leaves and/or arugula, torn, for serving
- Crumbled feta cheese, to taste
- Toasted pine nuts, for serving, optional
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Start by making the dressing. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cook orzo in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large glass mixing bowl.
- Pour a bit of the dressing over the orzo and stir to coat. Allow to cool at room temperature while preparing vegetables and herbs.
- When orzo is cool, add cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, red onion, basil and dill. Gently mix all together. Add more dressing to coat all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate until serving time. Store extra dressing in a jar in the refrigerator.
- At serving time, add torn spinach and/or arugula and crumbled feta. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.
To toast pine nuts, pour them into a skillet to form a single layer. Over medium heat, stir until golden. Don’t walk away. They burn fast. Immediately transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
This salad loves fresh herbs, so it’s a good time to pinch back the herbs in your garden. Try some parsley or tarragon. Chop up some chives. And if you have some calendula blooming in your garden, sprinkle some petals over the salad at serving time!
This salad stays fresh and delicious in the refrigerator for 5 days.
This is a perfect side to anything that comes off the grill!