Orzo salad

April 15, 2009

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Serves 6

Shaped like rice grains, orzo packs neatly. The salad includes toasted pumpkin seeds, celery, olives, and parsley.

1 1/4 cups (about 8 ounces) orzo
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup raw (green) pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and boil for 9 minutes or until tender. Drain into a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Leave to cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, heat the pepitas. Toast, shaking the pan constantly, for 5 minutes or until they turn golden. Remove from the heat.

3. Add the celery, scallions, olives, and parsley to the orzo. Toss well. Stir in the pepitas, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss again.

Lisa Zwirn