Summer Orzo Salad
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This easy orzo salad captures the best flavors of summer: fresh mint, basil, tomato, and cucumber coated in a lemony dressing. Learn how make this delicious orzo salad, and get lots of ideas for different ingredients you can add to make it your own.
When warm weather hits, you’ll find a container of this orzo salad in our fridge at least a few times a month. It’s one of my daughters’ favorite recipes, and it’s perfect for so many summer occasions: a BBQ, a picnic, a day at the beach, or a side dish for burgers or just about anything you want to throw on the grill.
Of course you can make this orzo salad any time of year, but the combination of abundant fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and freshly squeezed lemon juice make it a summertime staple. In my opinion, you can’t overdo the mint and basil in this dish (feel free to add even more than I’ve noted – you won’t be sorry).
In addition, there are many thing you can also add to this salad.
Ideas for Additional Orzo Salad Ingredients:
- toasted pine nuts
- slivered almonds
- feta cheese
- cubed mozzarella
- garbanzo beans
- sliced salami
- diced green onion
- shelled edamame
- cooked, chilled green beans
I’m sure there are some others I’m not thinking of — it’s really hard to go wrong with just about any fresh flavored ingredient you’d like to add.
While you can play around with ingredients and amounts in this recipe, the one thing you don’t want to do is skimp on the fresh herbs. The abundance of fresh basil and mint in this orzo salad is what gives it that amazing, garden-to-table summer flavor.
This recipe is a real crowd pleaser and perfect for any summer occasion.
Summer Orzo Salad
- 1 lb orzo
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 english cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Cook orzo in salted water according to package instructions. Remove from heat when al dente, strain, and place into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to prevent sticking. Allow orzo to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally and adding additional oil as needed (the cooling process will probably take about an hour).
- Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
- Once orzo has cooled, add tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, mint, salt and pepper and stir.
- Pour in vinagrette and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt if needed.Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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