Lentil and Orzo Salad

Everyone likes a good salad and believe me this salad is a really good one. With a perfect balance of orzo, which is a kind of pasta that is shaped like rice, steamed red lentils, loads of leafy greens with a light lime vinaigrette, this salad comes very close to being a perfect salad for a cool spring day. It is a complete meal in itself, though you can serve it as a side or a starter to a more substantial meal. I kept this salad totally vegetarian though you can add come grilled meat to it if you are a staunch meat lover like my husband!

Loaded with parsley, capers, oregano and feta, this salad does not skimp on flavours. This salad does require a bit of prep work but is a pretty quick salad to assemble once you have your orzo and lentils ready and cooked. I soaked the lentils for about 2 hours before I was ready to make my salad. Once the lentils are tenders, you just need to steam them for couple of minutes in the microwave. I used frozen shelled edamame, that I cooked in the microwave for a couple minutes too. As for orzo, you need to cook it according to the directions on the box and takes about 8-10 minutes of boiling to be done to perfection. So, with a little bit of planning, you will have your perfect salad in no time at all.

Ingredients:

1 cup orzo, cooked according to the directions on the package

1 cup red lentils soaked for 2 -3 hours

1/2 cup shelled edamame

1 small red onion, diced

1 small tomato, diced

2 stalks celery sliced thinly

1 cup parsley leaves chopped

4 cups baby spring greens or any lettuce of your choice

2 tbsp capers

1/4 cup crumbled feta

Dressing

1/4 cup lime juice, about 2 limes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 scant tsp dried oregano

salt and black pepper to taste

Serves 4 as a main course

Directions:

Rinse and dry your lettuce.

Steam the lentils and edamame in the microwave separately for about 2 minutes each, till they are tender.

Put your pasta in the boiling water, and while your pasta is boiling assemble your vinaigrette.

Pour lime juice and olive oil in a deep bowl and whisk vigorously till the two form an emulsion or alternately blend them quickly in the blender. Add salt pepper and dried oregano.

Take a salad bowl and add everything except lettuce to it.

Pour the dressing over top and mix gently.

To serve, put about 1 cup of lettuce in a bowl or a plate and scoop about 1/4 of the orzo and lentil salad on top.

Enjoy your hearty salad!

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