This is a good salad to make to accompany grilled meat or chicken, I made this along with my Honey Citrus Chicken. The orzo pasta goes well with a medley of vegetables, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions; the mint and parsley add a herbal tone to the salad. I love the combination of the texture and the color in it too.
Orzo Salad with Vegetables and Herbs
6 to 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 2/3 cups (about 21 ounces) orzo
1 1/4 cups diced tomatoes
3/4 cup diced peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped green onions including 2 inches of green stem
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head Boston lettuce--optional
To make the salad: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add sugar snap peas; cook 1 minute, then transfer peas to a strainer with a slotted spoon. Rinse with cold water and drain. Add orzo to the same pot. Boil until tender but still firm to bite; about 8 minutes. Drain and cool.
In a large nonreactive bowl, mix together orzo, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, mint, and lemon zest.
To make the dressing: Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Pour enough dressing over the salad to coat well. You may have a little dressing left over. Season salad with salt and pepper, if needed. (The salad can be made 1 hour ahead. Do not let it sit longer, or the peas and onions will start to lose their bright color. Cover salad and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
To serve, line shallow serving bowl with lettuce leaves, if you desire. Mound salad in bowl.
Source: adapted from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking by Betty Rosbottom