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Tomato Basil Orzo Salad in large serving bowl with wooden tongs

Triple Tomato Orzo Salad | Vegan


  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 Minutes
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Triple Tomato Basil Orzo Salad is packed with fresh herbs and juicy tomato flavor! The perfect plant-based pasta salad for picnics, potlucks, or a light lunch.


Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 12 ounces (340 g) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) dry orzo
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 persian cucumber, thinly sliced (or 1/2 english cucumber)
  • 1/4 packed cup (60 g) sliced sun dried-tomatoes in oil (loosely packed)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained 
  • 1 cup (17 g; 0.6 oz) loosely packed basil, chopped 
  • 2 ounces (57 g) arugula (or sub baby spinach)

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil* (I use the oil from the tomatoes; see note)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed

Instructions

  1. Prep the Tomatoes: place the fresh tomatoes in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and mix well; set aside while you prep the pasta and remaining ingredients. The salt will help to concentrate the tomato flavor! 
  2. Cook the Orzo: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add in the tablespoon of salt. Add the orzo to the pot and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool.
  3. Make the Dressing: Add the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and optional lemon zest to the jar. Seal well and shake vigorously until emulsified; set aside.
  4. Assemble: Transfer the orzo to a large bowl, then add in the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, sun dried tomatoes, capers, and basil. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well-combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. 
  5. Serve: Serve immediately, or place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and serve cold. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Olive Oil: I like to purchase tomatoes packed in olive oil, and then using the oil in the vinaigrette for an extra boost of flavor! I usually do a 50-50 blend with regular olive oil