Thursday, August 27, 2009

Orzo Salad

I'm always on the lookout for easy and healthy recipes that can be made ahead of time and kept on hand for meals or snacks. Especially ones I like so I have something to munch on when the kids are having more kid-friendly snacks throughout the day.

This Orzo Salad from Giada De Laurentis keeps my energy up and transports me to an Italian bistro...if only for a minute! The flavors layer so nicely and compliment each other in a surprising way! This Orzo Salad is sure to become a favorite of yours!

  • 4 cups chicken broth...I use vegetable broth
  • 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 below)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Pour the broth into a large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth 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.
  2. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer it to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. 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. I've had it warm and cold and all was delicious!
Red Wine Vinaigrette Ingredients and Directions
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Although I've also made it simply using a whisk and gradually pouring in the olive oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

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