Make Ahead

Tomato, Orzo & Chickpea Salad

June 18, 2011
Photo by inpatskitchen
Author Notes

I love making pasta with a raw sauce of fresh tomatoes and a few other ingredients. I took the same concept and created this pasta salad adding a few other ingredients which can withstand the heat. Served cold or at "picnic" temperature it's an inexpensive great side or a wonderful vegetarian meal and can easily be doubled to serve a big crowd.
Marinating the tomatoes for 2 to 3 hours creates the dressing. —inpatskitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

This was nice and easy to pull off. I don't think 3 hours for the tomatoes is totally necessary but I like when it has some time to sit and come together. In the interest of time, I might put everything all together and then let it sit for 2 to 3 hours. I wish it had something a little sweet in it—I liked it much better once I had added a tsp of honey. It just rounded it out a little. But it might not be needed a little later in the summer if the tomatoes were a little riper. —Stephanie Bourgeois

  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes about 8 cups
  • 4 cups seeded diced tomatoes ( try to find the ripest possible)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic crushed in a garlic press
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked and rinsed garbanzo beans (or one 14-15 ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pinch Salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
  1. In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Park the mixture on the counter for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  3. After the 2 to 3 hours "marinating" time, combine the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cucumber, orzo and olives. Stir in the parsley and basil. Re-season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to take to the picnic.

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Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!