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Balsamic Mediterranean Orzo Salad

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A little orzo, balsamic vinegar, feta, olive oil…it just sounds Mediterranean.  Sometimes I’m looking for an interesting side dish and frankly, this one can be a main dish too!  I originally used it alongside tilapia, but it works well for meatless Mondays!

Now I cooked my chick peas from dried, but you can easily open a can of chick peas and be good to go!  If you do cook them from dry, I find chick peas take a bit longer.  You need to bring them to simmer, then let them soak at least 4, closer to 8 hours.  Then it takes about an hour to simmer them before they soften.  I prefer them cooked with a bit of salt as well.

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The other nice thing about this recipe is you can prepare the pieces at any point and just assemble when it’s time to eat.  Letting all the flavors marinate is great.

Balsamic Mediterranean Orzo (Printable recipe: Balsamic Mediterranean Orzo)

2 cups cooked orzo

1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
1 cucumber diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 can chick peas
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt, pepper to taste
(You can have fun with additional ingredients: spinach, black olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, etc.)
Cook orzo according to package directions.
Prepare the remaining ingredients.
Stir together dressing ingredients.
Once orzo has cooled, stir in cheese and vegetables and dress with dressing.
Eat room temperature or cold.
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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Meatless Mondays

 

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