In need of a refreshing change-of-pace salad that's bursting with color and popping with juicy nutrients? Look no further than this favorite side dish that pairs well with pasta and rice dishes.
We can't take credit for coming up with this recipe but we did swap out the Israeli couscous for gluten-free orzo. There are any number of variations of Israeli salad on the web but we think ours just has that certain something special that kicks it up a notch.
Speaking of kicks - if you find that the red onion is too sharp a flavor for you it can be substituted with green onions. And if you're not feeling like having pasta, the salad works great without the orzo as well.
We suggest adding in the tomatoes last so they aren't too bruised, and eating this salad sooner rather than later - after about three days it starts getting too mushy and the flavors dull too much to be worth it. Fresh is best.
Why is it called Israeli salad? Our guess is it's not unlike Greek salad - a type of salad variation that you might expect from the Levant region should you eat there. That being said, who knows?
Recipe: Israeli Salad with Orzo
Course: Side Dish
Skill Level: Beginner
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 servings (1 cup each)
1 8oz pckg Andean Dream Organic Orzo Pasta
2 cups of cucumber (4 baby cucumbers, 2 medium cucumbers or 1 1/2 large cucumbers)
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion (about 1/2 an onion) or 4 green onions
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
Boil salted water and add orzo for 1 minute less than package instructions, stirring nearly constantly to avoid orzo sticking together.
Drain orzo and rinse with cold water to stop pasta from cooking.
Pour orzo into a salad bowl and add oil, mixing until orzo is well-coated, to keep pasta from sticking together.
Rinse and chop or slice cucumbers into preferred bite-sized pieces and add to orzo in salad bowl.
Rinse, peel and dice onion and add to cucumbers and orzo.
Rinse tomatoes and cut in half if grape tomatoes or into quarters if cherry tomatoes and add to bowl with chopped cucumbers, onion and orzo.
Chop fresh parsley and add to bowl with other vegetables.
Add salt, pepper and lemon juice and mix until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately. Leftovers keep in refrigerator for roughly three days but salad is best when fresh. Pair with basmati rice dishes or pasta dishes for a balanced meal.
Try this recipe out and let us know how you liked it in the comments below!