Warm Orzo and Walnut Salad with Garden Vegetables, Chevre and Herbs

Warm Orzo and Walnut Salad with Garden Vegetables, Chevre and Herbs

This is a prize-winning recipe in the I LOVE Walnuts! recipe contest.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped California walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup halved small red grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup diced English (European) cucumbers, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces chèvre (goat cheese), crumbled (preferably garlic and herb flavor)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Chives (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Spray 6 (8-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray. Cook orzo in a medium saucepan according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine hot orzo, walnuts, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives, oil, parsley, mint, chives and juice; mix well. Stir in cheese.
  3. Divide orzo mixture evenly into ramekins, packing tightly. Invert onto individual serving plates; gently remove ramekins.*
  4. Garnish plates with chives as desired. Serve warm. (Can also be served cold.) 

*Note: Can also be served on salad plates without use of ramekins.