This lemony-basil orzo salad is my take on a pasta salad. It is fresh and light, and serves as a perfect side dish for your summer bbq. Enjoy!
- 1.5 cups of dry orzo
- 3/4 cup of tightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of chopped green onion
- 3 Tbsp of olive oil
- 4 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- desired amount of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp of minced garlic
- 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 cup of chopped english cucumber
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach, roughly chopped
- Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the orzo. Boil for 9 minutes, stirring frequently until fully cooked. Drain the orzo and set aside in a large salad bowl to cool completely.
- In a food processor blend the basil, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper, garlic, and apple cider vinegar until it is in a dressing-like consistency. Pour the dressing over the cooled orzo and stir until evenly combined.
- Add in the tomatoes, chickpeas, english cucumber, and spinach to the bowl. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
*Chef’s Tip: This recipe also tastes delicious with toasted pine nuts added!
Benefits of this recipe:
-Tomatoes contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, they improve heart health, helps improve vision and eye health, benefits skin health, and protects bone health.
-Spinach aids in detoxifying the body and supporting liver function. It is a great source of fiber, boosts immunity, preserves skin health, and defends against heart disease.
-Chickpeas help control blood sugar levels, improves digestion because of high fiber content, helps protect against heart disease, is a good source of protein, and contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals such as zinc, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins.