Have you eaten something at a restaurant that you just loved and couldn’t stop thinking about it for days? That’s just what I did. I had lunch and ordered a prosciutto sandwich; on the side I was served a delicious and refreshing orzo salad.
This is about as close as I can come to that orzo salad. I am so pleased with the results and will cook it many more times to come. Chili powder is called out in the vinaigrette. Don’t let it scare you, once it is all tossed together, the salad becomes packed with flavor, not spicy. Try serving this salad with grilled chicken breast for a complete and light meal. The array of colors and textures in this salad will create a fiesta in your mouth.
Our yard has several lemon and lime trees. I look for every opportunity to use them, which is why this recipe is perfect. Fresh lemon and limes are used in the vinaigrette.
Recipe: Southwestern Orzo Salad With Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
For the salad:
2 cups orzo pasta
1 cup can corn nibblets, drained
1 cup can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
½ cup feta, crumbled
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
For the chili-lime vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil ( I use light olive oil)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime peel
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add orzo pasta and cook 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well again and transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime peel and juice, lemon juice, chili powder and salt.
Toss the dressing with the orzo. Add the corn, beans, tomatoes, feta, and cilantro, and toss gently to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.