Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spring Orzo Salad

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

Optional decoration:
1 small cucumber
tomato slices
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.

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