I know many of you might be feeling done with summer heat and ready for fall. I’m still enjoying summer and hoping it will stay around a little longer. I love the sunshine (not ready for those overcast days!) and being able to eat and play outdoors without worrying about jackets and long pants. I love summer fruits and vegetables, cooking dinner on the grill, and spending the evening outside.
Another reason I’m wishing summer would stick around for awhile? Next week I’ll be back to teaching after my maternity leave, and I’m just not feeling ready to leave these little sweethearts yet.
Learn more about my Time-Saving Healthy Family Meal Plan.
Before the season ends, I’m trying to enjoy fresh summer tomatoes and basil to their fullest, and this orzo salad is a great way to do that. Pasta salad is a great side dish to have with all sorts of summer meals, particularly those prepared on the grill. It can be prepared ahead of time, even the day before, and is actually best that way as the flavors have a chance to meld together. If you do prepare this salad a day ahead, I recommend waiting and adding the basil and mint right before serving. I hope you are able to enjoy more of whatever it is you love about summer, as fall will be here before we know it!
One year ago: Dark Chocolate Brownies
Orzo Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Mint
Makes 8-10 side dish servings
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 12 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) orzo
- 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups grape and/or cherry tomatoes (halve all but the smallest ones)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- Salt and pepper
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
- Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until well combined. Set aside.
- Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, red onion, basil, and mint to the bowl with the orzo. Toss together with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve salad chilled or at room temperature.
Source: Adapted from Giada’s Family Dinners