Summer Orzo Salad
Well, it isn’t officially summer yet but I am in summer recipe mode already! We picked a few tomatoes from the high tunnel greenhouse this week on our Belleville Farm and that was all it took to kick in my summer cravings for fresh veggie salads. Earlier this week when we had another family over for dinner, I knew I had the perfect salad recipe to compliment our grilled chicken.
What makes this salad so special you ask? First of all, pure Eckert’s honey adds a little sweetness to a tangy red wine vinaigrette. I like to dress this salad to taste and save the excess dressing for salad later in the week. Second of all, boiling the orzo in chicken broth gives this quick-cooking pasta a nice boost of flavor. Third of all, you can unleash your creative spirit with herb enhancements. This time I used salad burnet, purple leaf basil, lemon verbena and thyme. And lastly, this recipe is a home run combo of fresh veggies with crunch.
If you need an ideal dish for your next potluck, I highly recommend Summer Orzo Salad. It transports well and because it does not contain any dairy products, it holds up well during warm summer picnics.
Eat well this “almost summer,”
P.S. This recipe can be found in the Eckert Family Summer Cookbook along with many more of my favorite summer salads!
RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 tsp. Eckert’s Pure Honey
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 11/2 cups uncooked orzo
- 1 (15-oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 11/2 cups red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup peeled and diced cucumbers
- 3/4 cup finely chopped red onions
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh lemon thyme or lemon verbena
- TO PREPARE VINAIGRETTE: Mix vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender or shaker. Whisk in oil gradually. Season vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper if desired.
- TO PREPARE ORZO SALAD: Pour broth into a large, heavy saucepan. Cover pan and bring broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in orzo. Cook until orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain orzo through a strainer. Transfer orzo to a large, wide bowl and toss until it cools slightly (can put in refrigerator to speed up the process). Toss orzo with beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, herbs. Add vinaigrette to orzo salad to your taste. Season salad with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature or chilled. Cover and refrigerate any remaining dressing for another salad. Makes about 1 3/4 cups dressing. Makes 6 servings.