Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta Salad

Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta Salad + recipe | Glitter & Grace Blog #pastasalad #wholewheat #summerrecipe

If you’ve read a few of my recipes by now, you may have noticed that most of them aren’t really too complicated. Often, the dishes that I make don’t contain many ingredients. A delicious, special-occasion layer cake might require a few more than ten, but I can’t think of many others that do! For me, a lot of the joy of cooking comes from finding delicious, high-quality ingredients. And when each element is delectable, very little cooking effort is really required.

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wholeWheatOrzoPastaSalad03

I often rely on simple methods, like easy oven roasting or a quick sauté. I write straightforward recipes like this for you because I really believe that food doesn’t have to be complicated, elaborate, or over-done to be amazing! In my opinion, the best dishes tend to feature the most fresh and yummy ingredients that you can get your hands on, prepared simply, with a little creativity and lots of love!

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wholeWheatOrzoPastaSalad05

For instance, I know that when I make a dish with vegetables at the height of their seasonality, it’s pretty much bound to be delicious. The farmer’s market is a treasure trove; even better, my mom’s garden! Fresh herbs can also do wonders to brighten up and enliven a protein or grain. Try a sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro or a few basil leaves – you may find that you don’t need that complicated sauce, after all.

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wholeWheatOrzoPastaSalad07

I love this whole wheat orzo pasta salad because each component – the roasted vegetables, the orzo, the dressing, the chopped parsley – is so straightforward to prepare. Yet each enhances the next, creating an incredible harmony of fresh summer flavors! Consider this recipe a basic template that can be modified and adapted based on your own tastes and preferences. I think it would be fun to make this orzo salad throughout the year, picking new add-ins and dressing ingredients based on the season! In this case, the resulting salad is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta Salad + recipe | Glitter & Grace Blog #pastasalad #wholewheat #summerrecipe

Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta Salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat orzo
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender, about ten minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add drained orzo and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until cool, at least one hour.
  4. Meanwhile, to roast veggies, preheat oven to 400°.
  5. Cube eggplant and slice zucchini into rounds. Transfer to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add some salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  6. Roast until softened and browned, 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
  7. To serve, top orzo with roasted veggies, tomatoes, red peppers, parsley, and walnuts. Toss to combine.

Notes

  • It’s important to immediately toss the cooked orzo with the dressing. This helps the pasta to absorb all the yummy flavors!
  • The dish can also be served warm. Simply toss the hot orzo with the roasted veggies and remaining ingredients.
  • Feel free to adapt the vegetables and add-ons in this dish based on the season. I particularly love fresh corn with feta.
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