I use these key ingredients to fill this orzo salad recipe with fun flavor and texture:
· Whole wheat orzo is the base of this salad. If you can’t find whole wheat orzo, regular orzo will work in its place.
· Garbanzo beans add protein and hearty texture.
· Mango adds a sweet, juicy contrast to the crisp veggies.
· Diced cucumber and red bell pepper add fresh, crunchy texture.
· Red onion and garlic fill out the flavor and add extra crunch.
· Fresh herbs and arugula add fresh flavor and lots and lots of green.
· Pine nuts finish it with a toasty crunch.
· Tahini makes the creamy, dairy-free base of the dressing, while lemon juice & sherry vinegar brighten it up. I also add cumin and sweet paprika for a little spice.
Like most salads, this one is flexible, so have fun using what you have on hand to make a salad you love! Here are a few of my favorite variations:
· Add a sprinkle of cheese. Crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese would be delicious.
· Make it gluten-free. Substitute quinoa or brown rice for the orzo, or use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
· Try another summer fruit. Diced peaches would be lovely instead of the mango.
· Switch the greens. Use spinach or soft baby greens instead of arugula.
· Use different veggies. Halved cherry tomatoes or thinly sliced radishes would both be great additions.
· Swap the nuts. Toasted sliced almonds would be just as good as pine nuts.
· Roast your chickpeas. For extra crunch!
Let me know what variations you try!