This orzo salad is one of my go-to dishes to bring to a picnic. It's even better on the second day, and it's a wonderful combination of the best fresh veggies and herbs summer has to offer.
Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Recipe type: Salad, side dish, main dish
Serves: 4 as a side
1 red pepper, diced
1 ripe mango, cubed
1 small cucumber, chopped (1½ cups)
½ small red onion, diced (1/3 cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ chopped fresh herbs (mint, basil, and/or cilantro)
½ cup uncooked orzo
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 packed cup arugula
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine the red pepper, mango, cucumber, red onion, garlic, chickpeas, herbs, salt, and several grinds of fresh black pepper.
Cook the orzo according to the package directions or until al dente. Drain, gently rinse, toss with a little olive oil oil and set aside to cool to room temp before adding to the salad.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, stir together the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of water until it's a drizzle-able consistency.
Add the orzo, dressing, and arugula to the salad and toss to coat. Season to taste and top with toasted pine nuts.
Serve a slightly bigger group by doubling the amount of orzo (and make extra dressing). This salad is also delicious with crumbled feta cheese on top.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days. It's a great make-ahead salad for lunch the next day.
Recipe by Love and Lemons at https://www.loveandlemons.com/orzo-salad/