There’s a part of me that wants to jump up and down because I finally created my own recipe! But there’s another part of me that reminds myself that for countless years before I learned (or was even interested in) how to cook all I made were salads. (Don’t worry, I ate other stuff, too.) So if there’s one thing I really know how to make it’s a salad. (I did, however, create my very own non-salad recipe this week that I’m over-the-moon pumped about and plan to recreate and photograph very soon. I had no clue it would be a success when I made it, but if you like spicy foods get excited!)
This whole-wheat orzo salad is the third and final recipe from our Mediterranean picnic. And I must say it was pretty darn tasty. I packed it with lots of fresh veggies: red and yellow bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, arugula, olives, and artichoke hearts as well as fresh basil and mint, which also appeared in the Chickpea Salad. On a whim, I tossed some sliced salami in there and it’s no surprise that it totally stole the show. Kind of like how bacon does in everything. I may or may not have fished out individual salami pieces from the leftovers while standing with the refrigerator door open. True story.
When it comes to the dressing, I have to apologize because my measurements are estimates. I can’t believe I’m becoming one of those people who doesn’t measure! Those people drive me crazy! I’ll try to keep the habit to a minimum around here. Just taste as you go (I dipped pieces of arugula into the dressing to taste it) and tweak however you see fit.
For the salad:
12 oz whole wheat orzo pasta
1 Persian/hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and sliced thinly
1 can pitted green olives, rinsed and sliced thinly
12 oz package salami, each piece thinly sliced (I stacked and sliced several at a time)
1/2 bag of arugula
About 6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
About 4-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste (use plenty of freshly ground black pepper)
For the dressing:
2 Tbsp jarred minced garlic
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain.
Combine orzo in a large bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and stir to keep pasta from sticking to other ingredients.
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add all of it to salad. Toss to combine. If you need more dressing, add additional fresh lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coat.