Chilled Orzo Salad with Fresh Blueberries and Peas
light and crisp and super fresh
I never really had a pasta salad recipe until there were so many requests for one, I couldn’t ignore them. In the thick of summer, in particular, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw together one more version of the heavy, creamy noodle salad we all know and love. As usual, I turned to the seasonal produce for inspiration. The brilliantly-colored blueberries and super green peas called out to me. Just below is the final product. It is so good.
- Yield: 6-8 Hearty Portions
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cooking Time: 6 minutes
- 2 Pounds Orzo Pasta
- 2 Cups Frozen Peas
- 1- 1 ½ Cups Fresh Blueberries
- ½ Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- ½ Cup Lemon Pepper Marinade
- Olive Oil
1. Fill a large pot full of water and place on the stove top. Turn to high heat and bring to a boil.
2. Once the water is boiling, add approximately 3 tablespoons of salt to the water. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
3. Add your orzo to the water and follow the directions for cooking time. It usually only take 6-7 minutes.
4. After 6 minutes have passed, taste the orzo to make sure it is cooked through but still has a little firmness to it. (It should hold its shape in your mouth without leaving firm parts in your teeth.)
5. Drain the pasta and run cold water over it until all of the pasta is cool to touch. This is an important step because chilling the pasta immediately will stop the pasta from continuing to cook. Place the chill pasta in a large mixing bowl, drizzle some olive oil over the top to make sure the pasta won’t get stuck together while waiting, and let rest in the fridge.
6. Next, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Finely chop your parsley, clean and remove any bruised or stemmed blueberries. Grab your peas and lemon pepper marinade.
7. Finally, add your blueberries, peas, parsley, and lemon pepper marinade to the chilled orzo. Toss together. (If you’re not afraid of getting dirty, roll up your sleeves and toss the salad with your hands. It’s the best way to make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.) Let rest again in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Frozen peas are great because you can keep them indefinitely in the freezer until ready to use. Plus, you don’t need to worry about thawing them because it is a cold salad.
- Look at the various marinades used traditionally for meats next time you are in the salad-dressing aisle of the grocery store. They usually have a lot of fun flavors that you don’t often play with.
- If lemon pepper marinade does not sound good, you could always substitute raspberry vinaigrette, or whatever clear salad dressing you prefer. Always add a little dressing at a time and taste it before you add more. (You can always add more, but you can never take it out.)