So, a family favorite summer salad is an orzo salad. It’s pretty simple, light, and absolutely delicious! I wanted to try and make a version of it that was gluten-free. I thought that it turned out pretty yummy with some additions- enjoy!
- Quinoa (2:1 water to quinoa ratio, I did 2 cups of quinoa)
- Garlic stuffed olives
- Parsley (I used Italian)
- Pine nuts
- Feta cheese (optional)
- Equal parts Red wine vinegar & Olive Oil (about 1/2 cup dressing is sufficient for the salad)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- Minced garlic (to taste)
Rinse quinoa and add to boiling water. Cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes and allow to “fluff” after water is absorbed for about 5 minutes with lid still on and away from heat. Allow to cool for a little while (rinse after cooking and/or refrigerate). Add finely chopped parsley, sliced ripe avocado, feta, and sliced olives. I honestly did this until I felt the ratio was good. I toasted the pine nuts in a dry hot cast-iron pan and added that and the dressing right before serving. I made the dressing in a small glass jar and kept it in the fridge until serving.
The good, bad, and the ugly:
I felt like this was a really nice substitute to the orzo salad that I’ve made before. That recipe uses the same dressing, orzo, grape/cherry tomatoes, Italian parsley, and pine nuts. This new salad adds some good fats, is a complete protein (thanks quinoa!), and is a really hearty, yet, light, salad. I had originally anticipated using artichoke hearts instead of the olives, but I think the olives were a nice substitute.
Questions or comments about the recipe? Let me know! Have fun cooking 🙂