Summer Herb Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from

Summer Herb Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

After a week of torrential downpours and high humidity, I needed something bright and cheerful to perk me up.

This salad is lovely. I used basil from the plant Alexander and I started in April.

We added cilantro and mint to give it the flavors of summer. If you have a grill go ahead and grill the eggplant and asparagus for even more flavor.

I love orzo in pasta salads. It lets the other ingredients take center stage. When you use penne, fusIlli or elbow macaroni the pasta is so much larger than orzo it becomes the focus.

Alexander loves eggplant. I love artichoke. We both love asparagus, so in they went. Feel free to substitute what you love to tailor it to your liking.

We used a simple Lemon Vinaigrette to pull it all together.


Avec Amour, Victoria & Alexander

Summer Herb Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield – 6

1 Large Eggplant

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 1/4 Cups Orzo

1/2 Bunch Asparagus

1 Can (14 oz) Artichoke Hearts

1 Pint Grape Tomatoes

1/2 Medium Onion, finely diced

1/2 Cup Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup Basil

1/4 Cup Mint

1/3 Cup Cilantro

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon Kosher  Salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice eggplant into 1/3” rounds with skin on,

sprinkle liberally with table salt, let sit in colander for 1 hour to remove bitter juices,

rinse of excess salt with a little cold water, place eggplant on baking pan brushed with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, bake 20 minutes, turn slices over and bake another 20 minutes,

let cool, slice into 1/2” cubes.

2. While eggplant is sitting for 1 hour, bring salted water to a rapid boil and cook Orzo for 9 minutes, it should be al dente, rinse under cold water and keep in Refrigerator while preparing rest of ingredients, or do this step the day ahead.

3. In a large frying pan add water enough to cover asparagus, bring to a boil and cook asparagus until tender,

our asparagus was thin so only 3 minutes was needed, remove from boiling water and rinse under cold water, slice into 1” lengths, store in Refrigerator.

4. Drain artichoke hearts and slice into 6,

slice tomatoes in half,

slice feta into 1/4” cubes,

chiffonade basil and mint,

large chop cilantro.

5. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and kosher salt,

pour half into a large mixing bowl along with herbs and stir together,

add onions and stir, add eggplant, asparagus,

artichoke, tomatoes and feta, toss with dressing, fold in Orzo gently,

adjust taste by adding more vinaigrette if desired and serve with sprigs of basil.

Reserve any left over vinaigrette for other uses.


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