Orzo salad with lemon and herb dressing

This rice-shaped pasta keeps its texture well, so you can take it on a picnic and it will still look as good as it tastes

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 250g/9oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250g/9oz orzo or other tiny soup pasta
  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp coarsely chopped mixed fresh herbs like basil, dill, mint and parsley
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons

Soak 4 wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes to prevent them burning. Preheat the grill. Thread the tomatoes onto the soaked skewers with all the cut halves facing the same way. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook under the grill for 1-2 minutes on each side until the tomatoes are lightly charred and softened.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a big pinch of salt then tip in the orzo and cook for about 9 minutes or until al dente.  Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the spring onions, herbs and lemon zest and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add the mixture to the orzo, then add the tomatoes, lemon juice, remaining olive oil and season. Toss well then leave to cool before serving or packing into a picnic container.

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