Winter-warming comfort foods have left my mind completely. In their place, I see visions of grills, picnics, sandwiches, salads, and green gardens. It’s like the spring switch has been flipped and there is no going back.
Spring veggies haven’t emerged in the garden, but I had to make something that would indicate to my brain and stomach that it is just a matter of time. I don’t make pasta salad often, but every now and then it makes one delicious lunch, especially when you load it with as many vegetables as possible.
I love orzo in pasta salads because it feels like a lighter choice. Those small pieces don’t sit as heavy as macaroni or rigatoni. Any variety of vegetables can be added to this salad. I’m planning for some asparagus in a few weeks that will make a nice addition.
If you like your pasta salads with a little more dressing, you can double the dressing recipe. Only a small amount is used, but this is a mayo based dressing. If you aren’t into mayo, I have a feeling plain Greek yogurt would work too.
Vegetable Orzo Salad
3 cups orzo, cooked and cooled
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
1/8 cup onion, finely chopped
15 black olives, halved
15 green olives, halved
2 generous tbsp mayo
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp mascavo sugar (or white)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the orzo and veggies in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Best served cold. Makes 6 servings.
Lori Rice is a freelance writer, recipe developer, food photographer and nutritional scientist. Fake Food Free is a creative outlet that allows her to connect with people from around the world who share a love of travel, food culture and cooking.