Recently, I was craving this orzo salad again. I wanted to make a big batch one weekend for a light dinner and then pack the rest up for lunch that week. It refrigerates well and is great eaten cold or at room temperature so it's a perfect warm weather dinner or lunch salad.
For my version, I changed things up a bit. Instead of orzo, I used farro-- my new 'go to' grain. I love it's chewy texture, nutty flavor, and the fact that it offers some great health benefits like tons of fiber, minerals, and complex carbs too. This recipe works great with quinoa too, like in this version I whipped up for weekday lunches a while back. The vegetables take on such a great sweet flavor when roasted and paired with chewy nutty farro, toasted pine nuts, and the bright flavors of lemon and basil, this is the perfect light and satisfying meal.
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribs removed, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribs removed, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked farro
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Additional salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 10-12 basil leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a large baking sheet, toss red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, zucchini, garlic, 3 Tbs. olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper until evenly incorporated. Spread out on pan and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir the vegetables and then roast for an additional 15-20 minutes until vegetables are caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl along with any remaining liquid from the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and salt and pepper.
Pour the vinaigrette over vegetable mixture and add farro, pine nuts, and basil. Toss to combine and top with grated Parmesan.