Summer Orzo Salad with Green Beans, Peas, Carrots, Tomatoes and Feta

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I love this salad on hot summer days.  To me, it is the quintessential summer harvest dish.  It’s light and fresh and loaded with fresh veggies.  Blanching the green beans and peas keeps their crunch while taking away the rawness.  The carrots and tomatoes add a refreshing pop of sweet flavor.  And the feta adds some much needed salty cheesy goodness.  The salad is mixed with a very light vinaigrette that adds subtle flavor while still letting you taste all the vegetables.  It’s perfect served at room temperature  and can be made in small or large quantities.  Plus, it’s easy.  🙂

  • 1 C. Orzo
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • 4 T. olive oil, divided in half
  • 1 C. green beans
  • 1 C. peas
  • 1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 carrot (or 4 small if they’re from the garden), chopped small
  • 2 T. fresh parsley
  • 2 T. basil
  • 1 C. feta, cubed or crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

Fill a 5 quart stockpot with water and bring to boil.  Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Add beans and peas and blanch for 2 minutes.  With a spider to skimmer, remove the beans and peas and immediately shock in ice water to stop the cooking and keep the vibrant green color.

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Prep tomatoes and carrots – halve cherry tomatoes and chop carrots.  Chop parsley and basil.  Set aside.

Add the orzo to the pot of water that cooked the peas and beans.  Cook until al dente (about 5 minutes depending on size of orzo…  It will cook really quickly).  Drain and rinse with cool water and set aside.

In a small saucepan, add 2 T. of olive oil and sauté onions and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until just translucent but not brown. Turn off heat and add red wine vinegar and remaining olive oil.  Pour mixture over orzo.  Drain the peas and beans.  Add all veggies, herbs, and feta to the orzo.  Combine thoroughly.

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