Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Salad Tastes Like Summer In February!

Daughter Katie and granddaughter Nora came for lunch today. I wanted to make something special for Katie. At about 6 months into her pregnancy, I think she deserves a little TLC pampering. I found this salad recipe on Pinterest (from the blog Stay For Dinner) using orzo pasta and a few other ingredients. I knew Katie would love it (Nora, not so much: "I don't like orzo"). It was easy to put it together. The addition of the fresh mint and the lemon juice in the vinaigrette gave it a bright, fresh summer taste, really welcome on this bitter cold day. The recipe called for chopped celery, which I did not include. I think adding chopped apple instead would be a good choice. And maybe some golden raisins.

Minted Orzo Salad with Chickpeas and Feta
The Ingredients.
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic

The Directions.
Cook orzo in boiling chicken broth until tender. Drain and let cool slightly.
Combine with chickpeas, feta, red onion, celery, basil, and mint in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until well combined. Pour over the orzo salad and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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