Orzo and Chick Pea Salad

There's something really exciting about trying out new ingredients. That's why this orzo-based salad was so fun to make (well, that and the goat cheese), since I've never really had orzo before. So what is orzo? Well, orzo is basically tiny little rice-shaped pasta bits--like spaghetti minus the effort of twirling around a fork. Add to that some really good-for-you ingredients--and did I mention the goat cheese??--and this recipe provides you with a delicious side salad or light lunch for your next meal!

Here's what you will need:

  • 1/2 pound orzo (cooked according to package instructions)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, diced (I also peeled mine first, but this is totally personal preference)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, drained
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped (I didn't have these, so I left them out--I'm sure they would have been delicious, however!)
  • 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled (I used goat cheese--yum!)

  • How simple is this dish to make? 

  • First, cook your orzo according to package instructions, and prep your veggies.

  • After prepping your veggies, give them a quick saute in olive oil in a large skillet until your onion and zucchini are soft, and your garlic is fragrant. Toss in your salt, pepper, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and orzo to allow the remaining ingredients to warm (and the flavors to meld). Stir.

  • The last step is your choice. I added in my goat cheese here so that it melted and provided a creamy, sauce-like consistency for the salad. I also ate my salad warm for lunch. However, you could also choose to let the salad cool and crumble the goat cheese into it. Either way, it will be delicious.

  • Enjoy! 

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