Orzo Salad w/Vegetables & Herbs

prepared by and photo by Emily S. Downs

Need the perfect side dish incorporating both salad ingredients and pasta? This orzo salad is the solution. Chilled fresh vegetables give an added crunch to the already tender pasta.

Size: 8 servings

6 oz sugar snap peas (or snow peas), trimmed, cut into 3/4" pieces
2 2/3 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 21 oz)
1 1/4 cups cubed seeded tomatoes
3/4 cup cubed seed peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tsp finely chopped lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely chopped lemon peel
1 tsp minced garlic (or crushed and removed before dressing salad)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 head Boston lettuce


SALAD: Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add sugar snap peas; cook 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer peas to strainer. Rinse with cold water and drain. Add orzo to same pot. Boil until tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and cool.

Place orzo in large bowl. Mix in sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, mint and lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper.

DRESSING: Combine lemon juice, lemon peel and garlic in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour half of dressing over salad; toss to coat. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover salad and remaining dressing separately and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.) Toss salad with enough remaining dressing to coat generously. Season with salt and pepper. Line shallow serving bowl with lettuce. Mound salad in bowl.

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Author: Emily Sarah Downs

Cuisine Coordinator, Tips From Town, Ridgewood, NJ


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