I recently shared a recipe for an orzo salad that was really wonderful. The previous salad recipe was light and springy. Today, I’d like to share a similar recipe, but one that’s much more Mediterranean. This recipe has a more robust flavor and takes advantage of ingredients that are rather hearty.
Think about a pasta dish that includes sun dried tomatoes in garlic olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, kalamata olives and toasted pecans. That sounds pretty good, I know. Add to that some garden greens and you’ll be all set. Today’s recipe is a simple one that includes some big flavors. It’s healthy, satisfying and eagerly waiting to be shown off at your next gathering around your table.
2 Cups Dried Orzo
Ground Black Pepper
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 Cups Garden Greens of Your Choice
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Garlic Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, Halved
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil, Chopped
1/2 Cup Pecans, Toasted
This is the fourth recipe in a row that I’ve shared from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook that was released by America’s Test Kitchen. While I did change up the ingredients in this recipe slightly, I was definitely inspired by them. Thank you so much for another splendid dish.
Cook the Orzo
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. When it’s boiling, add the orzo and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. When the pasta is soft, yet firm, drain the contents of the pot through a colander in your sink.
Once that’s finished, add the orzo to a large bowl and combine it with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix everything well so the orzo is coated with the oil. This will keep the pasta from sticking to itself.
Prep the Ingredients
While the pasta is cooling off, go ahead and prep the rest of the ingredients. I did this and snapped a few photos during the process. Much of it was simply measuring things out.
First, I measured out the basil and placed it in a bowl. This is basil I grew myself in my backyard garden. It’s an incredible feeling to eat this wonderful herb every single day during the season.
Next, I measured out the sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl.
After that, I shredded the Parmesan cheese and sliced the olives.
Finally, I coarsely chopped the garden greens. For this mixture, I pulled what I had currently growing in our garden. I used chard, kale, beet greens, a lettuce mix, parsley and basil. You can use whatever you want. I suggest either baby greens or something similar. The original recipe called for arugula, so that may be a good option.
Toast the Pecans
Warm a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to it and when the pan is to temperature, add the pecans. Flip the pecans while cooking. Do this for a few minutes until you begin to smell them. At that point, remove the pan from the heat.
Make the Vinaigrette
In a medium sized bowl, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Whisk these ingredients together well.
Add the vinaigrette to the orzo in the large bowl and stir well. Then, add the rest of the ingredients as well and again, stir well.
Plate & Serve
Divide the salad between plates or bowls and serve. Enjoy!
The Final Mediterranean Orzo Salad Dish
I really love these orzo salads. They’re robust and filling and have a complex flavor profile. This one in particular is very good. I enjoyed the amount of balsamic vinegar and garden greens. The basil was a nice touch as well. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!