the taste space

Orzo Salad with Pan-Fried Chickpeas, Dill, and Lemon

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads, Sides by Janet M on July 17, 2010

I love the summer because all of a sudden fresh produce abounds, overflowing with flavour. It is a perfect time for salads, using fresh herbs, and enjoying simple dishes that showcase summer fare.  I originally spotted this tasty salad at Eat Me, Delicious who adapted it from Cooking Light (August 2002). I am weary of plain chickpeas, and I remembered my really delicious warm chickpea and artichoke salad and figured I would incorporate pan-fried chickpeas with this dish to up it a notch. I was not disappointed.

This is a delicious orzo salad brimming with fresh dill and spring onions, a slight lemony tang and this is coupled with creamy, nutty roasted chickpeas. The orzo has a delicious slippery texture that complements the chickpeas well.  The next time I make it, I would consider replacing the orzo with something else though. Perhaps wild rice? Or a grain like quinoa? The possibilities are endless for summer salads!


This is my submission to Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Mondays, this week’s Weekend Wellness,, this month’s Side Dish Showdown, to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by me this week!

Orzo Salad with Pan-Fried Chickpeas, Dill, and Lemon

1 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
19-oz can chickpeas or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (optional, I omitted this time)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to fry pan on medium-high heat. Add chickpeas and roasted until brown and golden (approximately 10 minutes). Set aside to cool.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.

3. Combine pasta, onions, cheese, dill, and chickpeas in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine.

4. Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl including remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat.

Serves 4.

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15 Responses

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  1. Joanne said, on July 17, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    I’m so excited that you’re hosting PPN this week! I will definitely be contributing something…have no fear!

    I love this salad…I’ve been having a love affair with chickpeas lately and need to find new ways to spruce it up (I feel like having a diet that consists almost entirely of hummus is non-ideal lol). I think quinoa might be too small and mushy for this…but barley would give it some good textural bite!

    • Saveur said, on July 17, 2010 at 5:20 PM

      Hey Joanne, Barley and chickpeas sound like a wonderful combination. :) I hope to make your chickpea romesco sometime soon!

  2. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said, on July 17, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    That is such a beautiful looking salad, wonderful !!!

  3. Allie said, on July 20, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    I just wanted to mention to you that this looks so ridiculously delicious I come back to stare at the post often enough it might be affecting getting my homework done. :)

    • Saveur said, on July 20, 2010 at 6:05 PM

      Allie, your comment made my day! :D You are too cute!

  4. Reeni said, on July 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    This is a gorgeous salad that combines two of my favorites with orzo and chickpeas! Thanks for sending it to the Showdown!

  5. Ashley said, on July 21, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    Glad you enjoyed this! Gorgeous photos of it. And I love your idea to try out different grains!

  6. DebinHawaii said, on July 25, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Yum! This has so many of my favorite ingredients in it and looks perfect for summer. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays!

  7. Ivonne said, on July 26, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    You know just the other day I was looking at all the dill in the garden and wondering, “What am I going to do with all this?” And now I know. Love it!

  8. [...] made Muhammara (Syrian Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip) from the December 1993 issue of Gourmet; Orzo Salad with Pan-Fried Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon from the August 2002 issue of Cooking Light; and Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon from the June 1997 issue of Bon [...]

  9. Kim said, on August 1, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    I wanted to make this as lunches for my daughter and I to take to work. I substituted lemon infuse olive oil and cooked my garlic with the chickpeas. Combined the chickpeas with the pasta and onion then divided in to 4 bowls. On the mornings we took this to work, I sliced lemons and in small separate containers combined feta with chopped dill. Reheated the pasta mixture, combined the cheese/dill mixture and topped with squeezed lemon. It was fabulous. Thank you for the wonder recipe.

    • Saveur said, on August 1, 2010 at 2:04 PM

      Hey Kim, Wow – that sounds awesome and glad you enjoyed it. I love how you separated the hot and cold parts of the dish and combined them when they were being served. :)

  10. [...] wonderful pan-roasted chickpeas are, creamy, nutty and flavourful. They always add extra oomph to a salad and did not disappoint [...]

  11. OliePants said, on October 28, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    That looks so refreshing and crisp tasting! I love orzo and am looking forward to trying that combo! Great job!

  12. [...] It had been a while since I’ve had pan-roasted chickpeas, which were a favourite of mine 2 years ago, so I decided to break them out with this creamy lemon-dill dressing from Angela. She used it with [...]


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