I have been looking for Orzo for a while and then stumbled upon it in the supermarket the other day. Orzo is also known as risoni as it shaped like large grains of rice. I love using it in pasta salad or soups as somehow I think it tastes and looks a little more sophisticated than regular pasta shapes. This salad is pretty easy to make and is quite light and fresh. I prefer to use creme fraiche rather than mayonnaise as it is a bit healthier and the salad doesn’t become too heavy.
Orzo Pasta salad – serves 4 to 6
200 g orzo pasta
4 tbsp vegan creme fraiche
1/2 jar of your favourite vegan tomato/ red pesto (around 75 g) I used Fontana
50 g vegan parmesan, grated
6 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cucumber deseeded and cut into small pieces
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
150 g vine cherry tomatoes, quartered
a handful of olives, stoned and halved
2 tbsp of capers
a handful of basil roughly chopped
micro greens and my almond parmesan to serve (recipe here)
Cook the orzo as per manufacturers instructions, refresh under iced cold water to stop in cooking and leave to drain well and air dry (you don’t want the pasta to be too wet before you mix it with the other ingredients). If the pasta begins to stick together too much, you can always add a little olive oil.
In a small bowl add the creme fraiche, grated parmesan and pesto, mix well and set to one side.
In a large bowl add pasta and then stir in the creme fraiche mixture so the the pasta is well coated. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, chopped vegetables, cherry tomatoes, olives and capers. Gently fold into the pasta and tip into your serving dish.
Finish off with a good grating of lemon zest, the chopped basil, a sprinkling of almond parmesan and colourful micro greens.