I think my favorite part of eating is the memories that dishes evoke. My dad’s award winning 24-hour ribs remind me of high school birthdays. Hot dogs will forever remind me of shameless late night food stops at my alma mater, Elon. And this orzo pasta salad reminds me of summer barbeques on the deck of my future in-laws.
I jumped at the opportunity to make this on the first nice weekend day in the city, especially because we were visiting my old roommate Emily’s new digs in the UES. Those lucky ducks are blessed with an outdoor balcony for grilling, so this salad was a perfect complement to the dinner they’d planned.
Even though it dropped ten plus degrees over the course of the time we were there and felt further and further away from summer, I could still shut my eyes and pretend I was basking in the sun on a deck in July. There’s something about the fresh mint, fluffy orzo, ripe cherry tomatoes, and basil..
Not to mention, this keeps really well for a week of leftovers. I felt like I was counting down to lunch every day knowing this was sitting in my fridge!
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups orzo
- 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pour the broth into a heavy large saucepan.
- Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat.
- Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes.
- Drain the orzo through a strainer.
- Transfer the 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, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat.
- Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
- Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender.
- With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil.
- Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Source: Giada de Laurentiis