Chickpea-Orzo Salad

Once a week, (usually on Mondays), the kids and I put together a simple salad lunch usually consisting of a pasta salad, bruschetta or mini sandwiches, olives, and fruit. It is a fun way for them to contribute in the kitchen and also try different salads/raw foods. A few weeks ago, we made this orzo pasta salad with chickpeas, baby spinach, arugula, red pepper, red onion, and herbed halloumi cheese tossed in a herb/garlic lemon and olive oil dressing. This is best served cold the following day as it gives all the flavours a chance to come together, but great served at room temeperature too.

Orzo Salad RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried orzo pasta, cooked and drained
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 of a 5oz. package of baby spinach/arugula mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives and one package halloumi cheese, cubed

Instructions:

1. Heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil on a pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and spinach and toss until lightly wilted. Let it cool.

2. In a large bowl, add the cooked orzo, chickpeas, basil, red pepper, cucumber, red onion, Kalamata olives if using, and halloumi cheese if using. Toss to combine.

3. Add the spinach and garlic mixture, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper and toss everything to combine. Let the flavours combine for at least two hours before serving.

NOTE:

  • Best served after chilled in the refrigerator overnight.

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