Fresh Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Orzo
Orzo

Embrace summer, and your garden, with this easy and healthy pasta salad

Orzo salads are tasty, nutritious and versatile - making them a staple in our kitchen every summer. As long as you have orzo, fresh vegetables and the ingredients for a simple vinaigrette, you can make a yummy lunch in no time. You can even cook up your favorite protein (we like spicy shrimp) to serve on top. This variation is my favorite because of the Maple Balsamic Dressing - yummo!

Orzo Salad Ingredients

  • 1 c. orzo pasta
  • 4 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 c. heirloom cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 c. cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 9-10 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 c. cannellini beans
  • 3/4 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese (or try fresh mozzarella or goat cheese)
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Maple Balsamic Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T. real maple syrup
  • 1 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. sea salt

Preparation

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add orzo and cook according to the package instructions until just tender, about 7-9 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until the pasta cools to room temp. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In the meantime, make Balsamic Dressing by combining all ingredients using a blender or whisk.
  3. Add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, beans and oregano to large bowl of orzo and toss to combine.
  4. Add half of the balsamic dressing and toss again. Taste and add more dressing as desired. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy at room temperature.