Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mediterranean Orzo Chickpea Salad

I love that you can make this Mediterranean salad ahead of time. With a new baby, meals that I can prep in advance become especially important.   I combined everything but the spinach, feta and orzo in a large bowl in the afternoon and then let it sit in the fridge until dinnertime. (I'm also guessing this actually helps the flavors meld together, too.)  For dinner, all I had to do was cook some orzo and chop some spinach.  It couldn't have been an easier meal to put together!

My husband and I both really, really enjoyed this.  We ate it warm (because of the freshly cooked orzo) for dinner although I also enjoyed the leftovers cold from the fridge for lunch the next day.  I actually served this as a main course along with some roasted butternut squash but I think it would also make a great side dish and could even be easy to transport to someone's house as well.

Mediterranean Orzo Chickpea Salad
Taken from: Tasty Kitchen
Serves 4-5 as a main dish
  • 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar (I used 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup Orzo
  • 1/2 cups (1 15 Ounce Can) Chickpeas, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1-2 cups Baby Spinach Leaves, Chopped
  • ½ pints Cherry Tomatoes, Halved (I omitted the tomatoes because it's the dead of winter but would be great in the summer!)
  • ¼ cups Pitted Kalamata Olives, sliced
  • ¼ cups Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Diced (I omitted)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
1. Whisk together the vinegar, oregano, and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, according to package instructions for al dente.
3. Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and red onion in a large bowl. Drain the orzo and add to the bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.


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