Orzo Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

This is probably my favorite, most versatile pasta salads. You can interchange the pasta and basically put whatever veggies or meat you’d like and call it good. I eat it a lot in the summer when there’s a lot of fresh produce from the farmers market. Even though it’s now winter, we had it for dinner yesterday…just slightly warmed. No one says you can only have pasta salad in the summer, anyway. 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • Assortment of vegetables (broccoli, cucumbers, celery, kale, roasted eggplant, bell peppers, etc. I used a bunch of warmed kale and broccoli)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, or similar cheese
  • 1/2 lb meat, if desired (I usually pan fry it with salt and pepper until cooked through then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and honey)
  • 8 oz orzo or other dry pasta (cooked in salted water and drained)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to directions in salted water. Drain and set aside (this can be done while preparing other things).
  2. Place all of your chopped vegetables, pasta, cheese, and cooked meat (if desired) into a large bowl.
  3. In a mason jar or a salad dressing shaker, add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, honey/maple syrup, red chili flakes, and oil. Cover and shake until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste (make it a little saltier since the rest of the veggies and such are not seasoned).
  4. Drizzle dressing over the prepared ingredients and toss until well coated. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s totally versatile. Change out the lemon juice for another acid like rice or balsamic vinegar. Add more sugar if you’d like a sweeter taste to your dressing. Use orange juice or pomegranate juice for a fruit vinaigrette. Add fresh apples or berries to the salad for a summery harvest salad. The options are endless!

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