Friday, May 22, 2009

Picnic Salad

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onion and Basil
Here’s another one of those great serve-at-room temperature recipes. It’s actually meant to sit around. Orzo looks like rice, but its pasta. Feel free to substitute rice, if that’s what you have on hand.

4 cups chicken broth or water
1 ½ cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
¾ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped fresh basil
¾ cup Red Wine Vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring the broth (or water) to a boil in a large, heavy bottom pan over high heat. Add orzo. Cover and partially cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo in a strainer. Transfer orzo to a large, wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil and enough vinaigrette to coat; you may not need the entire ¾ cup. Season the salad with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature. Yield: 6 servings.

Red Wine Vinaigrette
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Yield: 1 ¾ cups.

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