Home See this simple orzo-based Mediterranean salad

See this simple orzo-based Mediterranean salad

Veganism is a lifestyle that has been gaining a lot of followers during the last decades. Vegan diets are strongly based on soups and salads made of ingredients from vegetable origin only. Some popular dishes that can be found in the vast vegan cuisine are noodles with vegetables, quinoa, zucchini salad, and vegan omelets.

Orzo is a type of pasta invented in Italy and made from durum wheat semolina, which has the shape of a rice grain. Although its favorite destination is to be an ingredient for soups, orzo perfectly accompanies meat, poultry and fish stews, and gives a touch of good texture and flavor to several kinds of salads as well. 

With all the Mediterranean flavor

On one hand, vegan cuisine is characterized by the use of ingredients exclusively from vegetable origin in its dishes. And unlike vegetarianism, whose range of accepted foods is somewhat broader, vegan cuisine does not allow the use of any animal-derived products such as milk, eggs, and even honey.

On the other hand, Mediterranean cuisine is a style born in countries like Spain, France, Italy, Greece and even those North African neighbors and Turkey. This type of gastronomy is based on cereals, vegetables, and fruits, along with fish and seafood. It has become worldwide renowned for its delicious dishes, desserts and wines of all kinds.

The Orzo Mediterranean salad we present here for you is a vegan blend that had its origin in Mediterranean cuisine.

A low-calorie orzo-enhanced vegan dish

So, now that you already have an idea of what you’ll be suggested to prepare today, you can enter the realm of vegan cuisine with an easy-to-make dish. Here you will learn how to make a delicious Mediterranean vegan salad with orzo, a low-calorie appetizer that can perfectly be served as a light, healthy dinner.

Moreover, you can look for other Orzo Recipes and Products | RiceSelect® that will delight your palate with the best flavor and texture.

 

Orzo Mediterranean salad

Ingredients 

For the orzo salad

  • 16 oz package orzo (preferably whole wheat).
  • 1 diced medium red bell pepper.
  • ½ diced medium red onion.
  • 14 oz or 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
  • 14 oz or 1 can of sliced artichoke hearts.
  • ⅔ cup of sliced in half or quartered pitted kalamata olives.
  • 8 oz. of sliced in half cherry tomatoes.
  • ½ cup of toasted pine nuts.
  • ½ cup of fresh chopped parsley.
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh dill fronds or 2 tsp of dried gill fronds.

For the tahini vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp. of a lemon’s zest.
  • 2 tbsp. of tahini.
  • 2 tbsp. of white wine vinegar.
  • 3 – 4 tbsp. of olive oil.
  • 2 minced cloves garlic.
  • ½ tsp of cumin.
  • Salt to taste.

How to prepare

  1. Cook the Orzo pasta in boiling water following the instructions on the package. Once done, strain the orzo and mix it with 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a bowl so that it does not clump. Refrigerate.
  2. Blend with a food processor all the ingredients for the tahini vinaigrette until you get a smooth dressing. You can add a pinch of salt if needed.
  3. Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl, without stirring too much, and add the tahini vinaigrette on the top.
  4. Finally, add the chopped parsley on top of the salad and serve.

Helpful tips 

  • If you decide to prepare the salad in advance, you can leave it in the refrigerator the night before without adding the chopped herbs. It is best to enjoy the salad with freshly chopped vegetables.
  • The vegetables used in this salad should be as fresh as possible. This way their flavors will be stronger, giving the salad that desired touch. Also, wash the vegetables thoroughly and allow them to drain before adding them to the salad so that it won’t get too wet.
  • After making the vinaigrette, make sure it has the flavor you want. You can add more salt or cumin if you want a spicier taste, or you can add more lemon juice if you are looking for a more acidic taste.
  • If you want to make a healthier salad, you should use artichoke hearts and olives packed in water, instead of those in oil.