Ah those lazy, hazy days of summer. We are having a record-breaking, dry Seattle summer. This week has been glorious with temperatures in the upper 70’s. The morning marine layer keeps things nice and cool until the sun burns through about 2pm. Even though it has not been THAT hot, making a meal without heating up the stove is always a pleasure.
I have been making this salad for many years. It was actually on the menu at one of the restaurants I worked at, a lifetime ago. I have changed it up a bit, of course, and make it many times over the summer for dinner, lunch or potluck parties. (Lettuce, tarragon and tomatoes are from the garden!)
Orzo Pasta Salad with Shrimp
1 16oz box Orzo pasta – cooked according to directions, rinsed and cooled. (do not overcook!)
1 small purple onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely minced
1 4 oz can sliced black olives – well drained
2 15 oz cans artichoke hearts, quartered – well drained (PACKED IN WATER – NOT MARINATED)
1/2 cup stuffed green olives – sliced
Mix all together with about 1 cup of mayonnaise. You do not want this too wet as you will add vinaigrette.
Put all in a jar that you can shake well:
1 tsp. Fresh minced garlic
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
about 1 cup fruity olive oil (my FAVORITE Olive Oil is California Olive Ranch Arbequina)
1/2 t. minced rosemary
1/2 minced tarragon
1 teaspoon minced dill
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Shake up and pour over salad and mix well.
Chill at least a couple of hours.
This salad is typically served with small salad shrimp (About 1 lb.) stirred in. I just put them on top prior to serving, that way the salad keeps longer.