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.