I was making my favorite summer salad recipe in honor of finally being able to eat outdoors without a sweater. It seems like every now and then I share this recipe, but I have been blessed in the past year with some wonderful new readers so I thought I'd share it again! It is especially good for open air picnics and warm days as it has only a vinegar and oil base and doesn't require refrigeration. It's good cold but I like it best at closer to room temp and this one gets better as the flavors meld.
It was originally called Orzo Pasta Salad which is accurate but boring. I'm not sure where the original recipe hailed from but I've heard it was a variation by my friend Kate from a Cooking Light recipe -- a good decade or two ago. Kate's friend Esther made it on a WKAR cooking show and I co-opted it from there, making my own variation.
I call it two things -- Confetti Pasta Salad or Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad. For obvious reasons.
Basically, while your water is heating for the orzo chop to a small size (but not fine dice -- you can be as casual as you like with this) a mix of veggies and herbs. For the version you see here I used:
1 handful Japanese spring peas (the flat ones)
1 handful of asparagus
1/2 or a little more of red, orange and green pepper (but you can use whatever colors you like!)
5 large radishes
10 kalamata olives (because that is what I had; I would have used more!)
5 green onions (or if I'd had shallot or purple onion, I'd use that in place of or in addition to)
A handful of basil
A handful of dill
A handful of flat pasley
Sun Dried or diced tomatoes (grape tomatoes, are good; I used a roma. Sun dried is best!)
A block of feta cheese (I suppose you could use gorgonzola or bleu -- the feta seems "fresh.")
Salt and pepper
Vinegar and olive oil
Put it all in the bottom of your bowl.
Boil up your bag of orzo. It takes about 7 minutes, give or take (the sizes on this rice-shaped pasta can vary a bit).
Then run it under cold water to cool it and pour over veggies.
Add vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to taste. You want it to have the flavor but not be too wet! (After it's been in the fridge a bit, you may want to add a bit more since the pasta absorbs it.)
Voila! A wonderful salad that makes a lot (excellent for pot lucks) and doesn't take long. If you don't have all the items listed, substitutions are fine -- broccoli, carrots, even finely diced raw sweet potatoes are also good in this!
This post will be linked to Thoughts of Home on Thursday! Check out the links!