Meatless Monday–Revamped Summer Orzo Salad

This recipe is not new to the blog.  I first shared it in April of 2008, just three short months after I’d started Apple a Day.  I wrote about four sentences, plastered a subpar picture of an entire serving bowl (sans styling), and called it a day.  What a difference four years can bring, right?  I’ve got a new camera, a new blog design, and a new life in a new house.  Amazing.

Through it all, I continued to make this recipe.  It’s always been one of my favorites.  I’ve revamped the original a bit to suit my current tastes.  First, I traded out the chicken broth for a combination of vegetable broth and water.  Then I upped the amount of tomatoes and herbs to really capitalize on the season’s best.  It’s great right after making it, but I think it’s even better in the next few days as the flavors really come together.  I like to add a splash or two of extra vinegar before eating leftover portions.

With all the fresh, summery flavors in this salad, I can’t imagine not making it for many, many summers to come.

summer orzo salad

Summer Orzo Salad

adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis, Giada’s Family Dinners


2 c. vegetable broth

2 c. water

12 oz. orzo

1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. honey

1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil  

1 (15-oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 c. red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved

3/4 c. chopped red onion

1/2 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 c. chopped fresh mint leaves


In a large pot, bring broth and water to a boil.  Stir in orzo. Cover partially
and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring
frequently, about 7-9 minutes.

2. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide
bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool

3. Meanwhile, make the dressing by putting all ingredients, vinegar through pepper in a
blender or food processor.  Pulse to combine.  With machine running, add
oil in a steady stream.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Set aside.

4.  When orzo is cool, toss with beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat.  Adjust seasonings and serve at room temperature.  Serves 6 as a main course or 8-10 as a side.  Keeps up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

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  1. That Girl
    August 13, 2012 / 1:43 pm

    New picture, old recipe, still fabulous.

  2. Anonymous
    August 13, 2012 / 1:59 pm

    Chickpeas are my go to addition to salads and pasta. More protein, less pasta? Sure!

  3. Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
    August 15, 2012 / 2:42 am

    So fun to see the changes over the year (or for me it makes me cringe to see my first photos). This looks great!

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