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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad

 

Yes, it’s possible to make  a colorful dinner salad inspired by the Mediterranean in less than 30 minutes. It can be made as the “Main Course” or as a side salad. It’s very versatile to sum it up it’s – Bright – Fresh – Crunchy – Simple!

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo (or riso)
  • 2 cups red and yellow teardrop or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 7-ounce package feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
Instructions
  1. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
  2. Bring broth to boil in large heavy saucepan. Stir in orzo, reduce heat to medium, cover partially, and boil until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large wide bowl, tossing frequently until cool.
  3. Mix tomatoes, feta, basil, and green onions into orzo. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Add pine nuts; toss. Serve at room temperature.

 

 

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SoCal Chopped Salad

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SoCal – The place I call home. Yes it’s true Californian’s love their veggies the more the merrier. We also love our taco shops and all things Baja California Taqueria inspired. So here we have a nice mix of both. You can make this with or without the grilled chicken on top. Since the Hubs is a fan of adding extra protein I included the chicken with mine along with a small batch of homemade corn tortilla chips. You can add any kind of salad dressing you would like, I fancy the homemade Creamy Cilantro dressing that I have included in the recipe.

 

SoCal Chopped Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • Large head of romaine
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
  • 5 green onions
Instructions
  1. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Toss with desired dressing.

 

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Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing:

1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt

Directions
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

***Tip- To add a little extra heat to the dressing you can jazz it up with a couple    of dashes of your favorite hot sauce or a sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper

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