I will be the first to admit that I am a pasta junkie. I have no Italian blood in me but you wouldn’t know it based on how much I love pasta. One of my all time favs has to be orzo. I’m not totally sure why. Perhaps that it looks like a rice grain on steroids or has that buttery texture and flavor to it when cooked just right. Just don’t know.
What I do know is that it lends itself very well to almost any veggie add in and makes one a-maz-ing pasta salad. You can add everything and the kitchen sink if you like and it’s still just wonderful. Plus one box of orzo is enough for a whole meal!
Below is my go to orzo pasta salad. It’s my go to because I adore heirloom tomatoes. There is just something sweeter, fresher and less tart about an heirloom tomato versus a hot house tomato or a Roma or frankly any other type of tomato. Even my stepdaughter who is not a fans of tomatoes loves the heirloom. One catch, they have a very short season.
1 box orzo pasta
1 pint heirloom grape tomatoes -cut in half
1 can sliced black olives
1 Haas avocado – peeled, sliced, and cubed
3 sprigs of green onion – chopped
1 English cucumber – sliced and quartered
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 fresh scallions minced
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Putting It All Together:
1. Start by cooking the orzo according to the package’s instructions. Once done, rinse, cool and set aside for later in a large salad bowl.
2. In a small skillet heat one tablespoon of the olive oil and cook the scallions until translucent. This is about a three minute process.
3. Add the cooked scallions and the hot olive oil to the cooked orzo pasta.
4. Add the remaining vegetables to the orzo and scallions.
5. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Mix well and serve.
There you have it – my go to orzo and heirloom tomato pasta salad. It’s great on its own or as a side. It keeps well in the fridge for a fast leftover lunch and is super filling for when you need a little goes a long way kind of meal. Besides being super easy, it’s also super flexible. If you don’t have one ingredient, you can always substitute in another. No cucumber, substitute carrots. Pretty simple and pretty forgiving.
Happy Labor Day! Until next post!