ORZO SALAD                                back to home

about 6 servings

My friend Jim- a good home chef- gave me this recipe. He pretty much stole it from the Food Network’s “Everyday Italian”- one of the better shows in the midst of so much garbage on that channel. I really like the flavors of this salad- don’t leave out the mint- that’s what really makes the salad pop.

for the 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

Pour the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. With the machine running, gradually pour in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

for the salad

4 cups low sodium chicken 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
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the broth into a large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. When it starts to boil- stir in the orzo. Partially cover and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, this will take  about 6-8 minutes. When done- drain the orzo and put it into a large wide bowl and toss and fluff until the orzo cools some. Set  it aside to cool completely.

When cool-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. It can also be served chilled.