Monday, July 30, 2012

Orzo Salad

If you're looking for a variation on a summer pasta salad, try this version made with orzo instead of more standard macaroni or penne.  Nearly as short as grains of rice, small orzo pasta works great in cold pasta salads.

  • 3 cups hot cooked orzo
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 3/4 cup crumbled vegan feta (such as Veg Cuisine)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove
1. Prepare the orzo according to package directions (start with about 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked pasta to yield the correct amount). Drain.

2. Combine the hot orzo in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients, tossing well.  Cover and chill for 1 hour, at which point you can serve the salad chilled, or bring back to room temperature.

This salad pairs great with quintessential summer foods - try serving with vegan cold cuts (I love Lightlife's deli ham), corn on the cob, and Gardein's crispy chicken fingers, for a backyard vegan cookout or picnic.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1/2 cup), Calories 213 

Tasting Notes:
Aesthetically, I was a little disappointed, since the balsamic vinegar tinged the pasta a pale gray.  However, the taste of the balsamic paired quite nicely with the orzo, peas, and feta.  If you want to make the pasta more summery, I recommend basil or perhaps cherry tomatoes stirred in, but it is already good without any changes.  



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