Orzo Vegetable Salad

My family has been making this dish for years. This refreshing salad is perfect for spring and summer entertaining. You can make it as a side dish or as the main course, and it’s a winner with all ages.

You’ll need:

Tortured Orchard Garlic Balsamic Drizzle or Tortured Orchard Lemon Ginger twist – 2-3 oz.

Orzo pasta – 1 box ( found on any grocery pasta isle)

Asparagus (Green) – 1 Bu.

Grape Tomatoes/ Cherry Tomatoes – 1 Pint

Shallots – 2 (minced)

Red Onion – 1 sm. dice

Kalamata Olives (pitted) – 1/4 Cup finely chopped

Parsley – 1 Bu. 

Cold Pressed Olive Oil-  1 to 2 Tbsp. 

Cracked Black Pepper

Salt 

Colander/Sieve

A pot

Microwave

Saran Wrap

Mixing Bowl

Serving Bowl

Stove

 

* Fill the pot with water, add salt and taste. The water should taste slightly less saltier than the ocean. Add the Orzo and turn on the stove, and cook the pasta ( 20-25 minutes).

* While the pasta cooks, prepare the  vegetables; half the tomatoes, mince the shallots, chop the parsley, chop the olives and cut the onions. 

* Cut the bottom inch and half off the asparagus spears. It tends to be tough and woody, not tasting delicious as asparagus should. Then, wrap the asparagus in plastic wrap and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender, but still crisp. Shock until cold water to stop the cooking process. You could very easily steam the asparagus the traditional way, or cook them in a hot water bath, but the microwave for steaming is okay, and is a big time saver, and shocking them in the cold water not only stops the cooking, but allows the vegetable to remain that beautiful bright green color. After the asparagus has been cooled cut it into inch sized pieces and add to the other prepared vegetables. 

* After the pasta is cooked, drained and cooled add it to the mixing bowl with the vegetables and the Tortured Orchard product of choice. Mix, put in the serving dish and enjoy.