Orzo Summer Salad
A Perfectly Nutritious Summer Salad!
I don’t know about you but here in Las Vegas it is sometimes just way too hot to turn the oven on. I either send Grandpa Juice outside to grill or we stick to PB&J sammies…. (kidding) But I was finding that we were becoming very friendly with the Chinese take-out delivery guy. He knew to bring me extra fortune cookies and spicy mustard. As nice as that was, it was getting too expensive!
As I was handing the delivery kid his cash last week (yes, Grandma is a good tipper thank you very much) I remembered I had this terrific summer salad recipe. I couldn’t recall everything that was in it other than orzo. So I pulled the old recipe box down and started digging. Found it!
I forgot just how much good stuff was packed in here too! I found it online a few years ago and printed it out. The original recipe (pictured above) called for adding almonds and sprouts. I swapped the almonds for pine nuts and just kept the sprouts out completely. Ethan has absolutely put his tiny foot down and refuses to eat ‘grass’ (his words) Feel free to change it up to your families taste!
1 Cup Dried Orzo (we use whole wheat)
1/2 Head Of Broccoli (cut into those tiny, cute small trees)
8 Medium Sized Asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces)
1 Small Clove Garlic (fine chopped)
2 TBS Lemon Juice (I’m too lazy to squeeze but you totally should!!)
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Pine Nuts (or, almonds??)
1/2 Cucumber (cut into 1/4-in pieces)
1 Avocado (sliced small)
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese (crumbled, duh…)
Handful of cilantro (chopped)
Good stuff right?
On stove, bring a large pot of water to a nice boil. Toss in some salt and cook orzo according to directions on package. Right before the orzo is finished, stir in the asparagus and broccoli. Cook for about 1 minute. Drain. Here’s where my mother would run it under some cold water to stop the cooking. I never do… meh… Set aside.
Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to make the dressing.
Now, here’s where you have 2 choices, if you’re ready to serve immediately; toss the orzo, asparagus, broccoli, and cilantro with about half the dressing. (add more to taste) Add pine nuts, cucumber, avocado, and feta.
If you’re serving later, pack the veggies in containers with a good seal. Also, I’d recommend waiting to cut the avocado until you’re ready to serve or it’s likely to turn that ugly brown and get mushy. Blech….
This should take you maybe 15 minutes to make. It’s really just a bunch of chopping but SO worth it! Healthy, delicious… A perfectly nutritious AND delicious orzo summer salad!
OH! And, if you took my advice and made some homemade sun dried tomatoes, throw those babies on too!