We love this light orzo pasta salad — it doubles as a side, can be the main event or works well topped with grilled chicken or Adam’s favorite, shrimp! Use your favorite tender herbs in this — we love using of one or a combination of mint, dill, basil, parsley or cilantro.
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) dried orzo pasta
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, depending on taste
1 medium English cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced or 8 ounces halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs; use any combination of fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, dill or mint
1/2 cup pitted olives, halved
1 cup canned or jarred and drained artichoke hearts, chopped, see notes
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes (check box for actual cook time). Drain.
While the orzo cooks, in a large bowl, whisk the oil, mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the drained orzo to the dressing and mix well.
Stir in the cucumber, tomato, herbs, olives and artichokes. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and/or pepper as needed. Enjoy warm or cover then refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.