Well, my guy started his new job yesterday, and today our kiddo started school. It’s a week of exciting change and new beginnings for our family, and I have to say I’m also pretty stoked to get back into the swing of blogging things after taking the summer off.
When it comes to creating and sharing recipes, fall is my happy place. Maybe it’s the pumpkin; perhaps it’s my nesting instinct kicking in hardcore. Whatever it is, I am always inspired this time of year.
All this to introduce a recipe that is actually not autumn-ish at all. In fact, I created it over the summer. But I also think it’s perfect for this busy time of year. You’ve got grains (orzo), protein (chickpeas), and deliciousness (capers and olives). Deliciousness is important, am I right?
By the way, did you know naming recipes can be really, really hard? I mean, first, ideally you actually want to, you know, describe the dish. But sometimes a bunch of the ingredients deserve equal billing. And suddenly you have, like, four of the ingredients in the name of the recipe. Like with this chickpea orzo salad. Oh hey! Maybe I should have just called it “chickpea orzo salad.” … but I’ve already created one orzo salad with chickpeas already and, considering how much I like the combo, it’s probably going to keep happening. So here we have a chickpea orzo salad with a bit of a Greek side – black olives, capers, oregano. Hence “Greek-ish Orzo Salad.”
Gosh, that was uninteresting.
But I promise, this salad is not! It is the opposite! It is interesting!
It’s really full of flavor – hearty with bits of salty, tangy from the dressing but with the perfect balance of salt/sweet. I adore the kalamata olives and capers. My thought was that so many orzo salads call for feta. And feta is glorious and all but it’s often made with cow’s milk. No bueno for me. And besides, there are other ways to get that salty/tangy thing and keep the salad plant-based. (Oh hi, olives and capers!)
This is a perfect potluck salad, by the way. It’s hearty enough to stand in as a main dish for the vegans, but great for a side as well. I also love throwing it in a mason jar along with some greens like baby arugula or spinach for an easy, portable, satisfying lunch.
Note I don’t I actually throw it. That’d be messy.
Greek-ish Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Olives, & Capers
- 1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 medium red onion (diced)
- 1/4 cup drained capers
- 1/2 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey (or agave syrup*)
- 2 tablespoons diced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- Cook orzo according to package instructions. I like to salt the heck out of the water - once it tastes like ocean water, you're there!
- Drain orzo and let cool.
- Add orzo to a medium mixing bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Yep, that easy! Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and, well, serve!
- Keeps in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 4 days.