Mediterranean Orzo and Vegetable Salad

By The Best of Bridge

1 cup uncooked orzo 250 mL
12 asparagus spears, chopped in 1–2″ (2.5–5 cm) pieces
1 cup  halved red cherry or grape tomatoes 250 mL
1/4 cup pitted & coarsely chopped kalamata olives 60 mL
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts 15 mL

3 tbsp white wine vinegar 45 mL
1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard 15 mL
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey15 mL
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill 30 mL
1 tsp finely chopped capers 5 mL
1 garlic clove, peeled & sliced
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 75 mL

Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil and add orzo. Cook orzo for about 10 minutes, until al dente, adding asparagus to pot during last 2 minutes. Drain orzo and asparagus in colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.

To make dressing: In blender or food processor, combine vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, dill, chopped capers, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly add oil and continue to blend until mixture emulsifies.

Place orzo and asparagus in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour. Remove salad from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving and gently toss in tomatoes, olives and pine nuts. Serves 4–6.

Bravo! Best of Bridge Cookbook (c) 2008 The Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. (c) 2008 published by Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

To read my review for The Best of the Best please click here.