Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Worth Mentioning Again: Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I made this salad awhile back, but posted it with a couple other items. I really feel as though this deserves it's own post. It's really light and refreshing, perfect for the warm weather months!

1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and in 1 inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper optional
3/4 c uncooked orzo pasta
1 can garbanzo beans
1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c pitted whole kalamata olives
1/2 c snipped fresh parsley
1/4 c prepared Greek vinaigrette dressing

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine asparagus, bell pepper, onion and oil in a medium mixing bowl. Press garlic into mixing bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Arrange vegetables on a bar pan (or cookie sheet). Bake 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and deep golden brown. Remove from oven; cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package directions, drain and rinse under cold running water. Place orzo in large mixing bowl, add vegetable mixture, beans, feta cheese, olives, parsley and salad dressing. Toss gently and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

I doubled this recipe for our party on Sunday, and it was a perfect amount. There were about 25 people here. I also recommend more olives...but I really like olives!

Courtesy of Pampered Chef

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