Spring Orzo Salad

Margie Bruner - Glory Kitchenby: Margie Bruner, owner of Glory Kitchen
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A fresh, crisp and light salad is the perfect way to welcome the warmer spring weather.  This Spring Orzo Salad recipe is filled with crisp green beans, English peas, radishes, shallots and crunchy nuts from Umbria nut & spice mix, our Glory Kitchen Italian blend of flavors.  The almonds in the Umbria blend add great texture and the touch of rosemary, oregano and basil add just the right amount of Italian herb flavoring.

The best part of this salad is it is so flavorful & satisfying, yet the blanched spring veggies give it a wonderful freshness that feels like light, springtime food.  Little tiny orzo pasta cooked just until barely soft (al dente) is paired with English peas and larger pieces of green beans.  The many variations of size, texture, and color make it a beautiful salad to present on a large serving platter.  And of course thin radish slices (I like to slice them on a mandoline for size consistency) and shredded radicchio lettuce always add a pop of pretty red color and a peppery flavor to any dish.

This is a perfect salad to serve for a luncheon, to deliver as a food gift to a friend, or just to make for your family at home.  The best part about making this Spring Orzo Salad is having leftovers.  It keeps beautifully in the refrigerator and is great for snacking on when you need a few bites to stave away afternoon hunger pangs.  Happy Spring!

Spring Orzo Salad

Ingredients

    for the dressing:
  • 1 teaspoon Umbria nut & spice mix
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • for the salad:
  • 1-2 teaspoons Umbria nut & spice mix
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, chopped small
  • 2 cups green beans, fresh
  • 1 cup radicchio, fresh
  • 2-3 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cup English peas, fresh
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing except the olive oil. When well mixed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk while adding to help it emulsify.
  2. Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions and leave just a bit aldente. Drain and rinse. Add the orzo to a very large mixing bowl and mix in about 1/2 of the dressing. Toss and set aside.
  3. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the fresh green beans for about two minutes. Remove from water and add to a cold ice bath to cool quickly and lock in the bright green color. If they are small and slender beans you can leave them whole; if very large, slice them in half. Set the beans aside. To the same water, blanch the peas for about 1 minute, remove in the same way, set aside.
  4. Very thinly slice the radicchio lettuce leaving a few of the pretty curly parts of the leaves for garnish. Chop the cucumber and the shallot. Slice the radish very thin. I like to use a mandolin to get a very even and thin slice.
  5. Into the large orzo pasta bowl, add in the green beans, shallot, cucumber, radicchio, peas, radishes, and the remaining dressing. Toss well then serve on a pretty platter and top with additional Umbria nut & spice mix and garnish with extra radish slices.

Spring Orzo Salad - Glory Kitchen
Spring Orzo Salad - Glory Kitchen
Spring Orzo Salad - Glory Kitchen
Spring Orzo Salad - Glory Kitchen
Spring Orzo Salad - Glory Kitchen
Spring Orzo Salad - Glory Kitchen
Spring Orzo Salad - Glory Kitchen