Orzo and Vegetable Confetti Salad

My friend Wendy created this salad. That in itself blows my mind. I honestly have never created anything. I always follow a recipe exactly so that if it doesn’t turn out it’s not my fault, it’s the recipe. Wendy had something similar to this at J. Alexanders. She loved it so much that every time she went there she would order this and try to figure out what was in it. Over time she came up with this. This salad is refreshing and vibrant…just like Wendy. There is something about this salad that you just can’t stop eating it and I am not a huge rice or pasta fan. This picture does not do it justice. This is a regular dish at our get togethers out here in Florida. Perfect for a Labor Day BBQ!

Orzo and Vegetable Confetti Salad

Serving Size: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups (11oz) orzo
  • 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (5 oz.) pkg. long grain and wild rice with seasonings
  • 1 (3 oz.) pkg. slivered almonds
  • ½ large red pepper, diced finely
  • ½ large yellow pepper, diced finely
  • ½ purple onion, diced finely
  • ½ cup craisins
  • ¼ cup capers (drained)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the 2 Tablespoons salt and the orzo and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes. Drain the orzo and immediately toss it with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover and cool completely in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the long grain and wild rice according to package directions. Let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 Tablespoons of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add the almonds, peppers, onion, craisins, capers, basil, parsley, rice and orzo. Toss to mix well. Refrigerate to let the flavors blend. I like this better the next day.
  4. To serve, place in a serving bowl or divide among individual plates and garnish with the lemon slices.
  5. Serve at room temperature (or cold is good too). Serves 6-8

Notes

Source: Wendy Weisenburger

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Comments

  1. Juat found your blog! This sounds delicious! I WILL be making this one! XO, Pinky

  2. Made this for a work baby shower pot lock and it was a HUGE hit, perfect for warm weather get-togethers, very light and refreshing. thank you!

  3. Found your site through I Heart Naptime. Great recipes! Following you now.

  4. This. Is. Amazing. I only subbed cilantro for the basil/parsley, but stuck to the recipe for everything else. It tastes like summer! This is definitely going to be my “go to” recipe for potlucks and gatherings! Thank you!!

  5. Stephany Brisco says:

    I have been so lucky to meet Wendy out here in Poland. We had a church get together today and she brought this awesome salad. I ate it and I wanted it! So here I am. So, so good!!

  6. YUM! I made this on Friday for a potluck on Saturday using a whole 16 oz box of orzo and 1.5xed everything, I also sweated the red onions and carrots (instead of peppers, I don’t like peppers) in a skillet with a tiny bit of oil so that it would be super onion-y on Saturday. Also used toasted pine nuts instead of almonds (I’m allergic). It worked wonderfully! Thanks for the idea, my dish and someone else’s fruit salad were the only things that were completely demolished at the potluck, then we got home and my husband used a spoon to scoop out the last few nibbles of orzo left in the serving dish!