I may have a little obsession with Orzo pasta.
I love the shape, I love the the texture. And I love using it in salads!
Here’s my latest salad obsession —
Orzo Artichoke Salad.
I made this a couple months ago and now I have to make it at least once a week. It’s delightful and my family even loves it. My13 year old daughter takes it to school in a little tupperware container.
I think I could live on this salad — so I just had to share it with you!!
It’s actually started with a recipe I got on the back of a box of Giada De Laurentis’s orzo pasta. And since then, I’ve been making changes to it and now it’s quite different from the original.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 pound of Orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 small red onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 pints of cherry tomatoes, sliced (I like to use a couple varieties)
- 8 oz. artichoke hearts in oil (I buy mine from Costco)
- 3 Tablespoons Capers, drained
- 5 Tablespoons Cilantro (you can use less if you want, or even substitute the cilantro for Thyme if you don’t like Cilantro)
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper or lemon pepper is good too (to taste)
- If you want to add protein — you can add some cooked and sliced chicken breast
Cook Orzo according to directions
Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Pour the reserved liquid back in with the orzo. This liquid helps create a “sauce” when the other ingredients are added.
- In large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and cook until the onion becomes transparent.
- Then add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, chicken if you are going to use it, artichoke hearts, capers and cook until the tomatoes start to soften. They will start to get a little wrinkly about 5-8 minutes — take off the heat.
- Add pasta and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and cilantro, chopped. Heat the whole mixture up until it’s all heated through and then take off the heat.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
You can serve this dish warm, room temperature, or I even prefer it the next day straight out of the refrigerator.
You can’t go wrong!! Makes 8-10 servings. You can even add some chopped romaine lettuce to the salad once it’s cooled and it makes a wonderful green/pasta salad.
**I cook low fat as much as possible. I have experimented with different types of artichoke hearts. I found that the artichoke hearts packed in oil are much more flavorful and since this salad doesn’t have a dressing, per se, the oil in the artichoke hearts adds some oil to the salad and really acts as a dressing. Plus, you are only adding a small percentage of artichoke hearts to the salad and the fat overall is minimal.
This is a dish that you can bring to a BBQ or reunion this summer and everyone will want the recipe!!
Do you have a Summer Recipe you would like to share??
I’m including a link below so everyone can share their favorite summer recipes!!
I’m excited to try out YOUR recipe this summer.
Have a Beautiful Day!!