I’m a huge fan of Giada De Laurentiis.
And now? I have a new favorite to add to the list: her Orzo Salad.
My Mama made this for dinner the other night. She paired it with an herbed salmon from Ina Garten (I had a teriyaki chicken kabob) and fresh steamed haricot vert (the thin french green beans).
Everyone went back for seconds, and a few went back for thirds.
One common denominator? Everyone ravvvvvved about this orzo salad.
This will definitely be going on the menu plan now that the weather is heating up and the herbs and vegetables are coming into their peak.
For those avoiding the nightshades, you could substitute the tomatoes with cucumbers, dried cherries, or steamed and marinated green beans.
My Mama also seems to think olives (minus the pimento) would be fab too. I, on the other hand, do not. Because they are olives and I can’t stand them.
Giada's Orzo Salad
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 olive oil
For the orzo salad:
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups orzo
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups red and yellow grape or multi-color heirloom tomatoes halved
- 3/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender and mix.
With the machine running, gradually blend in olive oil.
Heat water in a large sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil.
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 and transfer to a large wide bowl.
Once orzo has cooled completely, add in chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and red wine vinaigrette.
Toss until everything is evenly coated.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve at room temperature.