Orzo Salad Recipe

I made this tonight from 101 Cookbooks, and I just had to share it, below. I think it’s supposed to serve as a side dish, but I ate it as the main course and it was fine. Handfuls of vegetables, delicious flavors and textures mingled, just a really interesting and healthy dish. Notes:

-Don’t skip toasting the almonds, they taste like bacon bits with the advantage of being almonds instead.
-I used a store-bought (Italian) dressing I like instead of the oil/garlic/salt/lemon thing. 
-I also skipped the sprouts – too much trouble to buy them and hope they won’t go bad before it’s time to use them – and the cilantro, as BF does not like cilantro. 
-I can barely find orzo in my area, much less whole wheat orzo, so I used regular.

Incidentally, I cooked the veggies for two minutes with the orzo instead of 30 seconds. Heidi gets her groceries in California, where the vegetables spring out of the ground and do a little song and dance asking to be eaten, rather than growing normally as they do here on the east coast.

Highly, highly recommended.

1 cup dried (whole wheat) orzo pasta
8 – 10 medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
1/2 a medium head of broccoli (or broccolini), cut into small trees
small handful of cilantro(or mint if you prefer), chopped

1 small clove of garlic, mashed with a big pinch of salt and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

a small handful of sprouts
1/3 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 small cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium avocado, sliced into small pieces
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and boil the orzo per package instructions. Avoid over-boiling, you want your orzo to be cooked through, but maintain structure. About 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking stir the asparagus and broccoli into the orzo pot. Cook for the final 30 seconds, drain and run under a bit of cold water. Just long enough to stop the cooking.

In the meantime, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and more salt (if needed) into the dressing. Set aside.

When you are ready to serve the salad toss the orzo, asparagus, broccoli, and cilantro with about half the dressing. Add more dressing if needed, and toss well. Now add the sprouts, almonds, cucumber, avocado, and feta. Very gently toss a couple of times to distribute those ingredients throughout the salad and serve.

Serves 4.

This recipe is wholly the property of 101 Cookbooks and Heidi Swanson.

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2 Responses to Orzo Salad Recipe

  1. Tiffany says:

    This sounds delicious! I love all of the ingredients, and it’s rare that I come across a recipe that doesn’t have at least ONE “ew” in it. I shall try this this weekend! Thanks for posting.

    • crisitunity says:

      Welcome! This is part of why I like 101 Cookbooks so much – she tends to make recipes with some of the same ingredients over and over, combining them in different ways, and it means you can have a pretty standard shopping list and still make a ton of different things. Hope you enjoy it!

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