Spring Picnic: Orzo Pasta Salad with English Peas, Artichoke, Arugala, and White Beans

Friday, June 15, 2012

As the first warm days of the year start to show themselves, spring is a great time to enjoy those picnics. Here's the recipe for an orzo salad I made on a recent spring picnic at the beach. It is very simple to prepare, and carries very well. Also stays well in a picnic basket or cooler for a while without worry of spoiling. Enjoy!

Orzo Pasta Salad with English Peas, Artichoke, Arugala, and White Beans
1/2 lb orzo pasta
1 cup cooked english peas (or frozen peas)
1 can artichokes, drained and chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed in cold water
2 cups arugula
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season the water with some salt, then cook the orzo pasta according to package directions (about 9 minutes). Drain well and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Add the english peas, artichokes, white beans, and arugula on top of the orzo and season the salad with salt and pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice and olive oil -- if you want a "saucey" salad then add all of the oil; a less oily version then use less to taste. Toss with a spoon until all the ingredients are well combined. It's ready to serve, but tastes best if made a few hours or even the night before so flavors can really develop.

Serving suggestion:
I made this salad so it was easily transported without fear of anything spoiling. If you're making this for a party or won't be traveling as far, add some crumbled feta cheese or shaved parmesan if you like.

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