I found a really great quinoa salad recipe the other day that I had every intention of preparing for dinner last night. When I looked over the ingredient list, I saw many things that appealed to me, such as black olives, roasted red peppers and feta cheese. I thought about it for a while and decided that I would make the recipe, but I’d substitute out a few things. For example, I would use orzo as opposed to the quinoa, basil and parsley instead of the cilantro and chick peas instead of the corn. Basically, change up the entire recipe to make it more in line with what I was in the mood for at the moment.
This is a very good recipe if you’re a fan of orzo salads. I’ve got a fair number of them already posted on this website and this one is just as good as all of them. It’s tasty, has just the right mix of pasta and vegetables and the texture is perfect. I really enjoyed the feta cheese and the vinaigrette, among other things. It seemed like everything just worked well together. Oh yeah, I don’t want to forget about the roasted bell peppers. Those are great. I chopped them up and they added just the right touch.
For the Salad
1 Pound Uncooked Orzo
2 Cups Black Olives, Halved
1 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, Coarsely Chopped
1 12-Ounce Can Garbanzo Beans
1 Cup Red Onion, Chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, Chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1/2 Cup Feta Cheese, Crumbled
For the Vinaigrette
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank Cooktoria for this inspiration behind this recipe. Even though I changed things up quite a bit, I did get the idea from Tania’s blog.
Cook the Pasta
Add four quarts of water to a large pot along with one tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then add the orzo to it. Cook the pasta for about 15 minutes. Normally, pasta takes 11 minutes to cook, but for some reason, orzo takes a bit longer. Be sure to taste a few pieces towards the end and when the tenderness is to your liking, strain it through a colander.
Make the Vinaigrette
While the pasta is cooking, go ahead and combine the olive oil, vinegar, dried oregano, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Whisk these ingredients together well.
Combine the cooked pasta, olives, red pepper, onion, basil, parsley, garbanzo beans and vinaigrette in a large bowl.
Mix these ingredients together well.
Plate & Serve
Divide the salad between plates or bowls. Then, sprinkle the feta cheese over each serving, serve and enjoy!
The Final Orzo Salad
The vinaigrette coats all the ingredients in this salad and really does a nice job with the flavors. That’s not to say that the other ingredients can’t stand on their own, because they can, but the vinaigrette brings everything together. If you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!