Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

I’m always looking for different type of salads to bring to picnics and parties. I wanted to try this one because it was different and not something I’ve made before. I wasn’t 100% ¬†sold on it, it’s really tangy from the Dijon and balsamic vinegar. It was good, but not sure I would make it again. Neither of the kids like and it ended up making a lot, so after three days of eating it, I was done too. So while this recipe wasn’t a hit, I think there’s potential and with adjusting some things, I might be able to get make something that we all enjoy.

This is one of the reason that I love food blogging, it gives me an opportunity to try different things and share them. If any of you have suggestions on what you would do to make the dressing of the salad not as tangy, share them! I’m all up for trying it again, but not sure where to start.

1 lb orzo pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, diced
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Cook orzo according to package directions. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil, water, oregano, basil, and garlic. Drain orzo and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in the tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine. This salad can be enjoyed warm, cold or at room temperature.

Lobster Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Dill

Mother nature treated us to some nice weather last week and I need a little taste of summer. I found this recipe in the March issue of Everyday Food and loved it with a few modifications!

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 lb small shell pasta
8 oz imitation lobster meat (shrimp was called for in original recipe)
1/2 english cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp dried dill
2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again.

Transfer pasta mixture to a bowl; toss with cucumber and dill. In another bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice and dijon; season with salt and pepper.

Add dressing to pasta mixture right before serving and toss to coat.

To store, refrigerate pasta mixture and dressing separately, up to 1 day.