, ,

Orange Mint Orzo Salad

I created this refreshing pasta salad for my housewarming party, which happened to be on a hot summer day.  I wanted to make a pasta salad that wouldn’t be too heavy.  Additionally, its dressing didn’t use a base of mayo or other creamy ingredients, so there was no need to worry about it sitting out in the heat for an hour or two.  My sister loved it so much that she requested I bring a big bowl of this orzo salad to her son’s birthday party this weekend.  The unexpected flavor combination was a hit with the kids and adults alike!  Try it for your next BBQ…perhaps Labor Day?!

Orange Mint Orzo Salad
Time:  40 minutes total
Yield:  12 servings

1 lb. orzo
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice (or orange juice)
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
zest of one orange (can come from one of the four below)
4 navel oranges
2 cucumbers
1 large bunch mint
16 oz. frozen edamame, defrosted
2 cups crumbled feta

  1. Cook the orzo according to the package instructions.  (To maximize on time, start on step 2 while it’s cooking.)  Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Prepare the dressing:  Place the following ingredients into a small mixing bowl:  olive oil, lemon/orange juice, salt, and pepper.  Zest one of the oranges (after washing it thoroughly) and add it to the bowl.  Whisk all of the ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Peel the oranges and dice them into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Remove the seeds from the cucumbers.  I find the easiest way to do this is to cut the cucumber in half along its length.  Cut it in half along its length again, so that it’s quartered and the seeds are exposed.  Slice the seeds out and discard.  Dice the flesh of the cucumbers into bite-sized pieces.  Place into a large mixing bowl with the oranges.
  5. Coarsely chop the mint and add it to the cucumbers and oranges.  Stir in the defrosted edamame and feta.  Add the orzo, and pour the dressing over top.  Toss to evenly coat all of the ingredients with the dressing.

Link to PDF to Print Recipe for Orange Mint Orzo Salad