This pasta salad made with orzo is one of my favorite summer cold salads. I have been making it for family and friends, for what seems like forever, and it has never disappointed me.
During the summer months a good fresh salad means that your meal is never far from the table.
Summer Orzo Salad
1 cup orzo
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1- 14 ounce can artichoke hearts (not packed in oil), drained
1-14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cups chopped vine ripened tomatoes (about 2 large)
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool. Press to remove excess water. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with olive oil.
With a chef's knife, mash garlic and salt into a paste. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in lemon juice and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
Gently squeeze excess moisture from artichoke hearts, and cut length-wise into eighths. Add to orzo along with chickpeas, onion, olives, feta, dill, mint and reserved dressing. Toss gently to combine.
Add tomatoes and toss again.