As summer is nearing it’s end this year, I’ve been looking for ways to use up the parsley in my garden before it yellows and is no longer producing. I had some orzo on hand so why not put the two together and see what we can come up with? This recipe is very light and crisp, perfect for those dog days of summer that we experience in Ohio in August. Most of these ingredients were chosen because they were on hand in my kitchen, so don’t be afraid to change it up if you don’t have everything in the ingredient list.
1 cup dry orzo, cooked according to package
1 large bunch of fresh parsley (a good handful)
Fresh basil leaves, about 8, if available
1 cup + orange grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup peas (I used frozen)
1 can organic chick peas, drained and well rinsed
1/2 green pepper
White wine vinegar
1/2 lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp each of granulated onion, dried shallot, black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder
1/2 TBS Honey
1. Cook the orzo according to the package interactions, which would typically be boiling the orzo in 3-4 cups of water (for 1 cup dry orzo) for about 16 minutes.
2. Add the frozen peas into the boiling orzo for the last 6 minutes of the cooking time (who needs to dirty up extra pots?)
3. Chop tomatoes and herbs and dice green peppers. Put into a mixing bowl large enough for entire dish. (the green peppers add a great crisp bite to this dish, so I recommend using them or something that will give you a similar snap!)
4. Add cooked orzo and peas into mixing bowl.
5. Mix together ingredients for dressing. I prefer equal amount of olive oil to my vinegar so I only used about 1/3 cup of each or less.
6. Pour 3/4 of the dressing into the orzo mixture, the rest will be tossed with the chick peas to cook.
7. Using the same pot you cooked your orzo in, add the remaining amount of dressing along with your chick peas. Bring to a simmer, stirring for about 10 minutes. (if you prefer uncooked chick peas this step may not be necessary. I tend to prefer warming mine to soften them a bit. If you have a little extra time on your hand, put them in the oven instead for a brown crispness).
8. Add chick peas to your orzo mixture, toss and serve or refrigerate for later!