May 26, 2014

orzo salad


I’ve made this orzo salad twice now, once for Mother’s Day and again today for Memorial Day. I love that it has very few ingredients, but a lot of flavor. As much as I love basil, the mint is really the star, giving the dish a fresh depth.

Hope everyone had a fabulous long weekend, I know we sure did. We spent the weekend eating and drinking with friends and family, and getting deeper and deeper into House of Cards. Yes, please. I felt like it had been a long time since I really cooked anything, so I spent some much needed 1-on-1 time with my kitchen. Other things on the menu from this weekend: salmon with dill instead of rosemary and omitted the capers, sauteed scallops, farro salad with barley instead of farro, corn, tomato and basil salad, and last but certainly not least, strawberry shortcake, oh my!


Orzo Salad
serves 6

1 1/2 cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper.