Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Fresh, colorful and delicious, this meatless pasta salad is a meal in itself or can be used as a hearty side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450g) asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) wedges
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch (1-cm) wedges
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 2   garlic cloves, pressed
  •  Salt and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces or 540 mL) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 package (4 ounces/125 g) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted whole kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) snipped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) prepared Greek vinaigrette dressing
  •  Romaine lettuce leaves (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Combine asparagus, bell pepper, onion and oil in Stainless (6-qt.) Mixing Bowl. Press garlic into mixing bowl using Garlic Press; toss to coat using Mix ‘N Scraper®. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired.

  2. Spread vegetables in a single layer on Stoneware Bar Pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and golden brown. Remove from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely. Cut asparagus and bell pepper into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package directions in (2-qt./1.9 L) Saucepan; drain and rinse under cold running water in small Stainless Mesh Colander. Place orzo in Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl. Add vegetable mixture, beans, feta cheese, olives, parsley and salad dressing; toss gently. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over lettuce leaves, if desired.

Yield:

  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 460, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 55 g, Protein 16 g, Sodium 980 mg, Fiber 8 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

3 starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 3 fat (3 carb) 

Cook's Tips:

Vegetables can be roasted up to 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature until you're ready to use them.

Orzo is a tiny, rice-shaped pasta, which can be found in the pasta section of most grocery stores.

To trim asparagus, snap off and discard tough stem ends.

Italian dressing can be substituted for the Greek vinaigrette dressing, if desired.

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