I made this Spring Orzo Salad recipe on Mothers Day, as it was passed on from my grandmother to my mother to me. What better way to judge a successful recipe than three generations of post-dinner party and family barbecue success? There is something undeniably perfect about the pea, olive, pepper and orzo combination; so much so that memories of this dish have stayed with me since I was a little girl. I put the recipe (handwritten on faded paper) to work today, and in its typical fashion, it received copious praise.
Spring Orzo Salad
1/2 box orzo (.5 lb)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped sweet green or red pepper
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup peas
1 small cucumber
sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
Cook orzo according to package directions. While orzo cooks, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper, and tarragon. After orzo drains and is hot, pour dressing over top, and let cool. Fold in green/red pepper, parsley/cilantro, onion, and peas. Cover, refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Optional decoration: At serving time, pare cucumber, cut into quarters lengthwise. Cut strips into 1/4 inch pieces, and toss with orzo mixture.