Lentil Orzo Salad
This salad can be made ahead and keeps very well, making an ideal candidate for toting to work during the week. We found the dressing very astringent, so be sure to season and taste as you go, or, use your favorite vinaigrette.
Lentil Orzo Salad
Courtesy of: Sonoma Coast Villa Inn & Spa, California
- 1 cup Green French Lentils
- 3/4 cup Orzo pasta
- Scant Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Curry Powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cumin Powder
- 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 cups vegetables of choice (chopped small)
- Juice of Two Lemons
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Zest from one Orange
- Make Salad Base
- Wash and cull lentils, place in saucepan and cover with two inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer 20-25 minutes. Drain and chill.
- Rinse and add Orzo to boiling salted water, cook for 10 minutes, drained, toss with a scant amount of olive oil, and chill.
- Combine chilled orzo with chilled lentils in large mixing bowl. Add spices and vinegar. Mix well and chill.
- This salad base can be used with any vegetables in season, carrots, celery, corn, red, yellow or green peppers.
- Make Vegetable Additions. Vegetables should be blanched before adding to base.
- Caramelized onions and zucchini or yellow squash are wonderful and do not need to be blanched if cut thinly.
- Combine salad base, prepared vegetables, orange zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Consider substituted cooked brown rice for the orzo. Also, because we love every single ingredient in this salad, we were surprised to find the dressing so overpowering that we were reluctant to add all of it to the salad. While low-fat, the vinegar, lemon juice, copious amounts of curry and cumin, made for a very tart and astringent dressing, with no richness from oil or other fats. It was a bit much for us, so we only used half the dressing called for, more veggies and lentils to balance out some of that harshness of even that much dressing, and about a tablespoon more olive oil. That tamed it somewhat, and, chilling it overnight and letting it mellow was also a good fix. For future versions of this salad, we'll make all of it except the dressing, and use our own favorite lemon vinaigrette.