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Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Olives and Tomatoes

Summers scream for lite and healthy flavors and this orzo salad marks the start of eating lite at my home. This rice-shaped pasta is common in soups, but is also great for a variety of main courses or side dishes. My family loves orzo either ways.

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

Perhaps, its our love for rice which makes this rice-shaped pasta favorite of everyone. On that note, If you cannot find Orzo Pasta, you can make this salad with wild rice or al-dente cooked brown rice too. I have tried it many times and it tastes pretty darn good.

Lemon Orzo Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Lemon Orzo salad leftovers are also great to pack for lunch on busy Mondays. I always make this salad little extra and keep some leftovers to enjoy in lunchtime, the next day.

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

Feel free to use mayor lemon or clementine juice instead of lemon juice for the vinaigrette. Both of these sweeter in-season citrus are great variations and taste amazing (skip honey if planning to use mayor lemon or clementine).

Enjoy!!

Pairing Ideas:

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Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Olives and Tomatoes

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Olives and Tomatoes
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 5 Servings Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lbs Orzo Pasta  (about 250 grams)
  • 1 & 1/2 Lemon  (zest and juice)
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes  (red and yellow rainbow grape or teardrop tomatoes)
  • 1/2 Cup Olives  (mixed olives - green, kalamata , stuffed per your taste and liking)
  • 4-5 tbsp Parsley  (fine chopped parsley)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil  
  • 1 Shallot Onions  (fine chopped)
  • Salt and Black Pepper  (as per taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp Honey  
  • 3 Cup Vegetable Stock  (low or no sodium vegetable broth, optional)

Directions

  • 1. Cook Pasta - Mix vegetable broth (if using) with 2 cups water, bring to a rolling boil in large heavy bottom saucepan. Season broth with salt if using no-sodium broth. Stir in orzo, reduce heat to medium, cover partially, and boil until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. (about 8-9 minutes) Drain. Transfer to large wide bowl, toss frequently until cool.
    Additional Notes
    Vegetable broth adds lot of flavor to cooking orzo pasta. However, you can always use well salted plain water instead.
  • 2. Vinaigrette - In a wide pasta serving bowl, add lemon juice & zest, honey, olive oil. Whisk well. Add chopped shallots, season with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Assemble Salad - Now add in chopped tomatoes, olives, cilantro and room temperature orzo pasta. Toss gently to combine and coat orzo with Vinaigrette. ( this prevents orzo from sticking together.) Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve at room temperature or chilled for 1 hr.

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