Garden Herb Orzo Salad

Total Time
54mins
Prep
45 mins
Cook
9 mins

I enjoy making salads during the summer that I keep on hand to make meals easier. I love pasta salads, especially ones using orzo. This one was inspired by my herb garden. I had an abundance of oregano and marjoram, so I thought I would use those in a pasta salad. I am not a huge fan of mayonaise, so I do more with olive oils and vinegars. This salad also incorporates soft goat cheese which blends in to become part of the dressing. This salad does not have a lot of dressing, so it's not very saucy. I really liked the ease of preparation and the flavor was fabulous. My husband gave it a thumbs up. Hope you enjoy it as well.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook orzo according to directions for al dente. I used Garafalo brand orzo and it cooks perfectly in 9 minutes.
  2. While orzo is cooking, chop the red onion, Kalamata olives and Roasted Red Peppers. I don't chop too finely, but that is a matter of personal choice.
  3. Once the orzo is done, drain it and put it into a large work bowl.
  4. While orzo is hot, add 1/4 of the bottle of Newmans's Balsamic Vinaigrette. Stir.
  5. Next, while the orzo is still hot, add the goat cheese. IF the cheese comes in a log, you may want to slice it before adding. Blend.
  6. It's important to add the goat cheese while the orzo is hot. This allows it to blend and become part of the dressing. It takes a few minutes to make sure the goat cheese and dressing blend well. There will not be a lot of sauce. The pasta may be a bit dry at this point.
  7. Once the goat cheese is all blended, add the olives, onion and peppers. Mix well.
  8. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix. Salad will not be very wet. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  9. Gather the fresh herbs, rinse them and finely chop. You should have about 1/4 cup once all the herbs are finely chopped.
  10. Add the herbs to the salad and blend.
  11. Add another 1/4 of the bottle of balsamic dressing and mix.
  12. Salt & pepper to taste. I don't use too much salt as I feel the olives can be somewhat salty.
  13. You can add a bit more olive oil if needed. I usually add a few splashes at the end.
  14. This salad is not dripping in dressing. If you prefer more liquid, feel free to use more of the balsamic dressing.
  15. I let this salad rest for a few hours for flavors to meld.
  16. I think it is best served at room temperature.
  17. Feel free to experiment with whatever herbs you like or have on hand. I think the key is to use fresh herbs for this salad.