Right Before Shabbos Tomato Chickpea Orzo Salad

This recipe is from before Pesach, when I was  trying to use up little bits of this and that chometz. I whipped this together right before Shabbos, so I just glanced at the recipe for inspiration and then did my own thing in the kitchen.

For a thrown together salad, it was a surprisingly huge hit. I think this will be especially nice to serve for Shabbos lunch when the weather gets really hot.

Tomato Chickpea Orzo Salad
Inspired by Giada, but I was really lax about following the recipe. The original recipe called for mint and basil, which sounds quite nice (too bad I didn’t have any). For a dairy meal, feta and sliced cucumber would be excellent additions.

6 ounces orzo, boiled until tender and drained (about 3 cups of cooked pasta)
14.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
pint grape tomatoes, halved
bunch scallions, sliced
salt, pepper, to taste
dressing: juice 1 lemon, 2 Tbl. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. honey, 4 Tbl. olive oil, plus salt and pepper, to taste

Combine everything. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Note: This recipe reminds me of my mom’s Greek pasta salad. The Giada recipe was such a hit, that I made a modified version of my mom’s dairy pasta salad and it was also very well received.

Mom’s Mediterranean Pasta Salad
My mom has been making this for many, many years. The original recipe came from a bag of pasta, I think.

12 ounces rainbow spiral pasta (fusilli)
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup coarsely chopped black olives
3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup sliced scallion
cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 Tbl. lemon juice. 2 Tbl. chopped parsley, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 tsp. oregano
salt, pepper, to taste

Toss hot pasta with the feta and vegetables. Combine dressing ingredients and add to salad. Toss salad to coat with dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

My modified version of this salad left out the radishes, olives, parsley and garlic. I upped the lemon juice considerably and reduced the olive oil to 1/3 cup.

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