Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
Fresh and zesty, this salad is like one big beautiful bite of summer. It looks fantastic and it’s easy to make. What’s not to love?
This orzo-based salad combines tangy lemon with crisp cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, salty olives and tender artichokes in a gorgeous herbed vinaigrette. The bright citrus from both the lemon juice and zest make this salad shine. Feel free to add in your favourite vegetables — asparagus, peppers, spinach — for a personal touch.
Savour this zingy salad while it’s still warm, as a main or side with grilled chicken or tofu. Or bring this crowd-pleaser to your next potluck and watch it disappear.
Makes approximately eight 1-cup servings
1½ cups (8 ounces) dried orzo pasta
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon or hot honey mustard
½ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 medium English cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced or 8 ounces halved cherry tomatoes
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs
½ cup pitted olives, halved
1 cup jarred and drained artichoke hearts
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes or until desired firmness. Drain.
2. While the orzo cooks, prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
3. Add the drained orzo (still warm) to the dressing and mix well. Add in the cucumber, tomato, herbs, olives and artichokes.
4. Adjust seasoning with salt and/or pepper as needed.
Enjoy warm. Or cover and refrigerate until cool — about 1 hour.
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