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Orzo and Vegetable Confetti Salad

With its wide assortment of finely diced vegetables and chopped herbs, this salad does look like a celebration. For a more zesty dressing, use lemon-flavored oil in place of the plain olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 radishes, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 8 green onions, green and white portions, thinly
      sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 slices

Directions:

In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the 2 Tbs. salt and the orzo and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the orzo and immediately toss it with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Cover and cool completely in the refrigerator, 1 to 24 hours.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 Tbs. olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the radishes, carrots, green onions, capers, chives, parsley and orzo. Toss to mix well.

To serve, place in a serving bowl or divide among individual plates and garnish with the lemon slices. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Pasta Collection, Pasta, Soups & Salads, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1996).