This easy Orzo Pasta Salad recipe is layered with flavors to make it the perfect side dish along side your grilled summer favorites.
This salad is so easy to make, but a few of the ingredients may be unfamiliar. Luckily, capers and orzo are both easy to find at the grocery store.
Orzo might look like rice, but it is actually pasta. Find it in the pasta section of the supermarket.
Capers are the unripened flower buds of the capparis spinosa plant that are brined and pickled. The taste is like a tiny little a salty lemony green olive. You can learn more on Food Network. They are usually next to the olives and pickles, or substitute some chopped green olives if you prefer.
Tips for making the best Orzo Pasta Salad
- Like most pasta salads this is better when made ahead of time to let all of the delicious flavors come together.
- Pro tip borrowed from Cook's Country, or America's Test Kitchen or one of those shows: leave the pasta just slightly al dente and mix this together while the orzo is still warm. The pasta will soak up the dressing and finish cooking leaving you with a flavorful firm pasta salad instead of a mushy drippy one.
- 1 ½ cup dried orzo
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and finely minced)
- 1 large large tomato (or 2 medium), (chopped, seeds and excess liquid discarded)
- 2 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon caper liquid
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (stems removed and chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (stems removed and chopped)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Cook orzo according to package directions.
- Saute olive oil and minced garlic in a skillet and over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes (until tomatoes become soft). Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo, capers and liquid, lemon juice, thyme and parsley with the tomato and garlic mixture. Toss until thoroughly combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Season with salt and pepper, to taste before serving
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Until next time, happy eating!