Spring Vegetable Orzo Salad with Tahini and Sumac Dressing

By • May 30, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I've found myself coming back to this salad time and time again this spring, when my body is craving something fresh and raw and delicious. It is beautifully crunchy, flavourful, and filling. Orzo adds some body to the salad, and tahini gives it a warm, rounded nuttiness. The dish is hearty enough to be dressed and kept in the fridge ahead of time, and lasts for a few days (hello, #notsaddesklunch!)
Although I sometimes add shredded chicken to the mix (and I encourage you to as well, if you want), as it appears here it is a vegan dish, and one that is perfect for a picnic: no creamy dressing to spoil or lettuce to wilt here!
jensenbakes

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Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish, or 2 with plenty of leftovers

Salad

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 6-7 celery stalks
  • 1/4 fennel bulb
  • 4-5 brussels sprouts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 6-8 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup, if you want to keep the dish strictly vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al-dente, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Drain, toss with olive oil (don't forget this step, lest you be left with a hardened block of orzo!), and lay out on a large plate or sheet pan to cool.
  2. While the orzo cools, finely chop the celery and green onions into a large bowl. Using a mandolin, or otherwise finely slicing with a very sharp blade (either way, watch those fingers!), add the fennel, radishes and brussels sprouts. Finally, mix in the herbs.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until combined.
  4. Add cooled orzo and dressing to the veggies, and toss everything together. Enjoy at your dinner table, your desk, or on a sun-drenched picnic blanket.

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