The hot humid days of a Southern summer are here. The furnace type weather and the fact that we spend all of our time at the pool for swim team combine and man I DO not feel like cooking at the end of the day! Salads have become a favorite for dinner. I have had fun experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. This Mediterranean dish was a hit! With the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) adding some protein and making the salad more substantial, you could serve it as the main dish. Or if you are not a bean fan–leave them out and serve with some grilled chicken or fish. This really hit the spot for me! I even loved it the next day for lunch– the flavors seemed to come out even more!
Winner of the Rhodes Cookbook: Lisa in Fort Worth
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
submitted by Melanie ~ The Sisters Cafe
1 1/2 cup orzo
1 (16 oz) can Chickpeas, drained
1 (6oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, minced
1/4-1/2 cup fet cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Salad greens for serving
1 large clove garlic
2 TB white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
Cook the orzo in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
While orzo is cooking, mince the garlic in a food processor or blender. Add the vinegar, mustard, marjoram, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Process until well blended. Set the dressing aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo, the chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, parsley, feta cheese and scallions. Pour the dressing over the salad, and gently toss to combine.
To serve, line a shallow baol or individual plates with salad greens. Spoon the orzo salad onto the greens, and serve topped with the pine nuts.
Recipe Source: adapted from Quick Fix Vegetarian by Robin Robertson