Monday, October 6, 2008

Summer Orzo Salad

My mother in law was having a barbecue and I wanted to make a nice summery salad with fresh vegetables in a light vinaigrette. I decided to add some smoked turkey to make it a meal later in the week (as I knew I would have lots of leftovers). It was very delicious and figure friendly! I made enough for a crowd, obviously you could just use 1 box of Orzo Pasta and cut the rest of the ingredients in half for a more reasonable amount.
  • 2 boxes of Orzo Pasta
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into cubes
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced into cubes
  • 1 can medium olives, drained
  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes (if they are larger cut them in half)
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 lb smoked turkey (I get it in the deli section and have them cut it 1 inch thick), cut into squares
  • Using a micro-plane grater, zest one medium lemon and 3/4 of a large orange
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ~1tbsp of lime (fresh if you have it)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • ~1tbsp of fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1tsp of white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of ginger powder
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1/3 c of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/8c to 1/4c light oil (plain olive oil would be WAY too heavy. First pressed extra virgin or a very light corn, canola or veggie oil works fine)

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, drain and run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking process. Place into your serving bowl, add the remaining ingredients and the vinaigrette, mix well and chill

Note: Amount of oil is largely up to you. You need some to create an emulsion and even more to create and hold stuff in suspension (aka mayonnaise). If you whisk and apply just prior to serving you don't have to worry about separation.

Note2: If you let the dressing/pasta sit overnight, the pasta draws in most of the flavor from the vinaigrette and makes it bland. Solution: make and add more vinaigrette.


Pam said...

Looks and sounds delicious! I love orzo pasta. Your dressing sounds fantastic.

MaryBeth said...

OK, you know I don't like veggies but your salad I must way was really good.

Heather said...

mmm yummy! i love orzo in pasta salads!! the vinaigrette sounds really tasty :)

NuKiwi said...

Very similar to one I make...I add parm or romano and use ham or chicken leftovers instead. I also have a recipe for a sweet one with currants and almonds. Lookin good C!!!

Raquel said...

yum, yum, yum! Sounds great! Much love, Raquel XO

Jan said...

This salad looks totally scrummy, and that vinaigrette sounds fab too.

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