Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Orzo Salad

Okay, so I decided to be a little adventurous with this recipe.  Perhaps my adventurous side needs to slowly progress.  This salad turned out exactly the way it was supposed to, but I had a hard time liking the flavor of the fresh mint.  So, I think if this is a recipe you want to try out, you have two options.  Either follow the recipe exactly or take out the mint, some of the fresh basil, halve the garbanzo beans, and perhaps use an italian dressing.  Although, I did really enjoy the red wine vinaigrette dressing so I encourage you to use the dressing!

Source:  Giada de Laurentis, Giada's Family Dinners


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


Pour the broth into a heavy 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--9 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


1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c. 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.

Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

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