Mediterranean Inspired Orzo Salad
The Mediterranean diet spotlights fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains. This recipe, brought to us by Kids Cook Monday Ambassador Jory of teeny tiny foodie, uses ingredients from each of these categories to create a simple, healthy meal!
Food for Thought: Orzo sure looks a lot like rice, but it’s actually made from wheat flour, making it a type of pasta. Orzo is a versatile pasta that’s great in pasta salads, soups, or even “orisotto” (risotto made with orzo instead of rice). It comes in several wheat flour varieties, but whole grain orzo contains more beneficial dietary fiber and has a higher protein content than regular white flour orzo. It also has a nuttier flavor!
Cooking Tip of the Week: To blanch vegetables, quickly submerge them in boiling water, then immediately put the veggies in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.
Family Dinner Conversation Starter: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you want to live?
- 2 cups whole wheat orzo, uncooked
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
- 1 stem of broccoli, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 can (around 1 cup) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 3-4 ounces firm salty cheese such as ricotta salata, manouri or halloumi cheese* or dairy-free cheese
- Fresh mint, chives and parsley, finely chopped
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic powder, to taste
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- Olive oil, to taste
- *You can also use feta cheese in this recipe, but it will likely melt and become a creamy sauce if the pasta and broccoli are still warm.
Together: Prep ingredients.
Adult: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Together: Add the chopped broccoli stems and cook for 1 minute. Add in the chopped broccoli florets and cook for an additional 40 seconds.
Adult: Scoop out the stems and florets with a sieve or slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl of ice water for around a minute to stop it from cooking further. Then transfer them to a large kitchen towel to drain.
Adult: Return the water to a boil and add some olive oil. Cook the orzo according to the directions on the package and drain.
Together: Return the orzo to the pot. Add the broccoli, carrot, tomatoes, beans, cheese, herbs, olive oil, lime juice and zest and spices. Mix together. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.