Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tomato, Orzo and Chickpea Salad

I love making pasta with a raw sauce of fresh tomatoes and a few other ingredients.  I took the same concept and created this pasta salad adding a few other ingredients which can withstand the heat. Served cold or at "picnic" temperature, it's a great side or a wonderful vegetarian meal.  Marinating the tomatoes for 2 to 3 hours creates the dressing.

4 cups seeded diced tomatoes
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbl red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups cooked and rinsed garbanzo beans ( or 1 14 to 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed)
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 cup diced English cucumber
1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, crushed pepper, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Park the mixture on the counter for 2 to 3 hours.
Cook the orzo according to package directions.  Drain and rinse.
After the 2 to 3 hours "marinating" time, combine the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cucumber, orzo and olives.  Re-season with salt and pepper.
Chill until ready to take to the picnic!

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