This is a wonderful recipe I am passing on, the original was from Giada de Laurentis and I’ve since doctored it up to suit my tastes. Upon going to prepare recipe I realized that I didn’t have any garbanzo beans so I substituted red kidney beans. Feel free to add and subtract ingredients and do whatever you like with this delightful recipe. This time out I omitted the red onion, Joel just ends up picking it out anyway. Sometimes you feel like pasta but not really and this is it. It is perfect at room temperature. What I mostly like about this recipe is that you can use what you have in the pantry and in the house. I have to say the mint and the basil gave it a wonderful fresh flavor and I wouldn’t omit them, I have been growing fresh basil in my herb pot so I just went out and snipped some! Super Fresh! The vinaigrette is delicious and fresh tasting as well, so give it a try. It also cooks up very quickly which is always a plus for me.
4 cups chicken broth ( to keep it vegetarian just use vegetable broth) I like the broth rather than plain water . It adds extra flavor to the orzo.
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed , I used 1 can of Red Kidney Beans because I wanted to make recipe and didn’t have Garbanzo Beans, it was just fine. Any type of bean is fine.
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, if you can get those great little yellow ones do so. Halve the tomatoes. Use red and yellow. So pretty!
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion ( I omitted this time)
1/2 – 3/4 lb. feta cheese ( sometimes I use crumbled and sometimes I cube it) makes no difference ( I love the cheese but you can omit)
1/2 bag frozen green peas ( also optional) didn’t use this time
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
3/4 to 1 cup of the Red Wine Vinaigrette dressing ( listed below) but you’ll use as much or as little as you like
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Directions for the Orzo:
Bring broth to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until orzo is tender but still firm, stirring frequently, about 7 – 10 minutes. Drain the orzo as you would pasta in a colander. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools down. Set aside to cool completely.
When orzo is cooled down, toss the orzo with the bean, tomatoes, onion, basil , mint and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste with additional salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.
Red Wine Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in the blender. While machine is running , slowly add in the olive oil. Season to taste, with more salt and pepper if desired.