A few things I have learned in making this INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS salad:
- Try adding the vinaigrette at the point where the pasta is hot to soak the flavors up better
- I prefer to add the tomatoes right before serving to keep them from getting “mushy” or watering down the salad. This salad can be made ahead and served at room temperature.
- If you want to take the bite out of the raw onion, try adding the onion to the hot pasta right away
- Feel free to substitute cannellini beans if you don't like or can't find garbanzo beans
- Feel free to substitute green onions for red onion
- You can also crumble feta on top of the salad--it's delicious
- The salad adapts well with the addition of sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and/or black olives
- The original recipe includes honey in the vinaigrette, but I don't think it needs it so I never include it. If you're in a pinch, store bought vinaigrette works fine, but the one below is really good!
Adapted from Food Network's Giada di Laurentis
Makes 6 servings.
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1 ½ cups orzo (tiny pasta that looks like rice)
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), drained and rinsed
¾ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
¾ cup red wine vinaigrette (recipe follows)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups teardrop or grape tomatoes, halved
Bring the broth to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bit, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, herbs, and enough vinaigrette to coat; you may not need all ¾ cup. Season the salad with salt and pepper, and serve.
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper (OR, add the ingredients in a lidded jar and shake).