Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Before summer completely slips away, here's a recipe for a fresh, summery, easily adaptable pasta salad. Switch out any of the vegetables based on your preferences or whatever you may have bursting from your garden. Leave the chickpeas out for a less filling side dish, or keep them in for a more filling main dish.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Inspired by Real Simple
Yield: 4-6 servings

1 cup whole wheat orzo
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 English cucumber, peeled if waxy, seeded if desired, and chopped
2 oz. (1/2 cup) Feta, crumbled
1-2 green onions, sliced
1 small can ripe black olives, sliced
2-3 handfuls cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 to 1 full can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; rinse under cold water to cool, and shake well to remove excess water.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Add all the rest of the ingredients, including orzo, and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired, or more of anything else. If it seems dry, add a bit more oil or lemon juice. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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