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Orzo Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
This orzo salad combines fresh garden veggies, tender orzo pasta, and a tangy fire roasted tomato and basil vinaigrette dressing with a kick of chili flakes. Looks as colorful as fireworks and has a nice explosion of flavor, too!
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta (will yield about 2 cups cooked)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 large seedless cucumber (sometimes called English cucumber), diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped or cut chiffonade style
For the Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 15-20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small pinch red pepper flakes
- 4 ounces olive oil
- Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
- Place all salad ingredients except cheese and basil into a large serving bowl. Set aside.
Make the Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Vinaigrette
- Place all vinaigrette ingredients except for oil into a blender. Process on high speed for 15 seconds. With blender running on high, slowly pour olive oil into the blender to combine with other ingredients. Blend on high speed for 15-20 seconds, or until well blended and creamy.
- Taste and add additional salt if desired.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and toss to combine. Garnish with shredded cheese and fresh basil.
- Store refrigerated in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days.
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