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by on August 7th, 2015

Cubano Orzo Salad

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The rice looking pasta.

This is another recipe using my Pappardelle’s pasta I bought at the Pike’s Market in Seattle last summer. (Can’t believe it took me a year to get around to using it.)

Years ago I tasted a rainbow orzo that I bought at Central Market in Houston. It had beautiful colors of purple, orange, green and white and for some reason it was discontinued and after that I could only find green, orange and white. That is until I happened upon this southwest blend that is made with blackbean, red pepper, red bell pepper and spinach and a lot of other flavors that make this beautiful and delicious.

For this recipe I am using what I remember from my favorite Central Market salad (and the ingredients were printed on the nutrition label, so how easy is that) but added in some of the ingredients from Pappardelle’s recipe they gave me when I bought the pasta.

If you are looking for a different type salad to take to a summer gathering, why not try this one. With or without the colored orzo, it’s colorful on its own.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Here’s another salad that I think is everyone’s favorite BUT I don’t cut mine in a wedge. This Wedge Salad on a Different Angle has a 1″ slice of the lettuce instead of the more common wedge where everything slides off; everything stays nice and neat on this version until you choose to cut into it.

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I love orzo pasta and these ingredients make it even better.

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The orzo cooks in 6-8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

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I chopped the julienned carrots into smaller pieces.

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I dropped my corn into the boiling water before I cooked the orzo. Boiled for 2-3 minutes, removed, then chilled in ice water.

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Leave the peeling on the cucumber and chop in about 1/4″ dice. (Is it a peeling or skin on a cucumber?)

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Score the cucumber into 1/4″ pieces all the way to the skin, both ways and then scoop out with spoon. Put in cool water for about 1 minute, drain and then add to your salad.

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Add the lemon zest and juice of one lemon, the cumin and garlic and drizzle with enough olive oil to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Cubano Orzo Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb. orzo (rainbow will make the prettiest salad)
  2. 1 large pickling cucumber, cut into 1/4" cubes
  3. 1 avocado, diced in 1/4" pieces
  4. 1/2 c. chopped carrot
  5. 1/2 c. finely chopped tomato
  6. 1 ear corn
  7. 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. olive oil
  10. zest and juice of one lemon
  11. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  12. 2 cloves garlic, finely minced.
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt. Boil the corn for about 2 minutes then remove, run under cold water to cool. When cool, cut kernels from cob and put in salad bowl.
  2. Add the orzo to the now boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes testing to make sure it is just al dente. Drain orzo and rinse under cold water. Add to bowl.
  3. Add the chopped cucumber, carrot, green onions, and tomato to the corn and orzo. Toss salad then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt and pepper. Stir to combine then add in the avocado. Chill until ready to serve.
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