Toasted Orzo and Chickpea Salad

Toasted Orzo and Chickpea Salad | Very Culinary

by Amy Flanigan on September 4, 2012 · 22 comments

The world can always use more girl power, so I’m excited that my friend Jenna from Jenna’s Everything Blog will be helping out with that. She and her husband are expecting their first baby, Alice (I love it!)

Today, a bunch of us are celebrating with a virtual baby shower, hosted by Veronica of Veronica’s Cornucopia. Surprise, Jenna! 

I’m sure a lot of you are stunned that I didn’t make something sweet. Perhaps a momentary lapse of sanity? Really, it was because I feared everyone would bring a dessert and then we’d all end up reeling the rest of the day from a sugar headache. Like when there’s a potluck at school and everyone brings cookies and cupcakes, but no fruits or veggies. (That’s your future, Jenna…be warned!)

So, I made an Orzo salad. One of my favorites, loaded with chickpeas. Because Jenna and I both love chickpeas. Also with feta, dill, and pine nuts – it’s SO good.

And don’t miss out on what her other friends made! Check out all the links after the recipe box.

Thanks to Veronica for organizing and hosting with such a great group of ladies. And congratulations to Jenna and Adam – it’s an exciting time!

Toasted Orzo and Chickpea Salad
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 cup orzo
• 2 (15 ounce) cans chicken or vegetable stock
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 (15 ounce) can canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 3 tablespoons pine nuts
• 1 teaspoon dried dill
• 1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Directions
In a medium pot over medium-high heat; add the orzo and toast until golden brown and nutty-smelling, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add chicken or veggie stock and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Drain the orzo and transfer to a big bowl along with the butter, stirring until butter melts completely. Add the chickpeas, pine nuts, dill, and Feta and gently toss together. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(adapted from Go Bold With Butter)

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Go check out what the other guests are bringing to the table!
4 Little Fergusons (Midwest USA): 11 Lessons To Determine If You Are Ready For Parenthood
A Little Lunch (Eufaula, OK): Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice Scones
City Songbird (Greensboro, NC): Merry Christmas, Alice!
Eats Well With Others (New York, NY): Peanut Butter and Honey Ice Cream
Hunting for Bliss (Bozeman, MT): Garam Masala Deviled Eggs
Pinking Shears & Broccoli Spears (Newark, DE): Making Food Good For Your Baby
Sydney Shares (Eugene, OR): Baby BLTs
That’s Some Good Cookin’ (Salt Lake City, UT): Cheesecake Cookie BarsThe Pajama Chef (Bloomington, IN): Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup
Two Dogs In The Kitchen (Sterling, MI): Spicy Asian Meatballs
Veronica’s Cornucopia (Wichita, KS): Raspberry Almond Fudge Cookies
Words on Wendhurst: A Gift For Jenna and Alice

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef September 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm

yay for a savory dish! i made a drink because i figured the same thing…everyone makes sweets, & you get thirsty! nice work, so fun to meet you on this happy occasion. :)

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Terri @ that's some good cookin' September 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Ohhhhh, this sounds so delicious. I love the idea of toasted orzo; it sounds like a comfort food. This is another keeper from Jenna’s shower. I’m so glad to have been introduced to you and your blog. This looks like a great place to lurk…er…hang out. :)

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Isn’t that always the best part about attending parties…sampling all the food? ;-) Yes, too many great blogs/recipes, not enough hours in the day. Thanks, Terri!

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Jenna September 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

Yaaaay for chickpeas! And I’ll try to remember to be the mom in the future who brings the veggies into the equation, heh heh.
Amy, thanks for your sweet post and another delicious recipe for the world to chow down on. You’re the best. =)

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Alice will be greeted with wonderful, smart, musical, artistic, funny, loving parents…who can cook. What more does a kid need? Much love to you and Adam!

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Joanne September 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

I want in on this salad love! Given my adoration of chickpeas and feta…I’m seeing a future carb-loading session with this as the main attraction.

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

This has your name all over it. On top, underneath, to the side. ALL. OVER. IT.

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Veronica September 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

And oh my! I don’t even know if I ever commented on it, but I made your cranberry chicken back before I had any idea who you were-I saved it forever ago and made it last year. So good and easy! I even posted it on my blog! So funny to now be meeting you through Jenna. :)

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

That is funny…the blogging world just got that much smaller! It seriously doesn’t get any easier with that chicken dish. I made it so much, that the family finally got tired of it. But it’s been quite a while, so I think it’s time for another appearance. Thanks for reminding me!

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Veronica September 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

Yay for the savory! This salad sounds really nice and it’s good to have something with fiber to slow down all that sugar from going straight into the bloodstream! lol! I know I dropped the ball many times, and I thank you for your patience and helping make this such a wonderful shower for Jenna.

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

You were great, silly! It’s hard enough to coordinate people in the same city…but across the country? Forget about it. It’s been great fun!

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Kimby September 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

The seasonings and pine nuts in your salad sound fantastic — I’m sure Jenna will love this — I certainly do! Here’s to “girl power” (and orzo!) — thanks, Amy. :)

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Heck ya, girl power *fist bump* – thanks for poppin’ over, Kimby!

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Tonya September 4, 2012 at 5:37 am

Hmm, I WAS starting to get the starting signs of a sugar coma from all these tasty treats at the Baby shower! :) This salad sounds fantastic!!!!
~T

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

See, that’s what I was afraid of – everyone would make a dessert. But I stand corrected. There were quite a few savory dishes. And I loved all the crafts. And your HILARIOUS post, FTW. Being a part of the shower with you has been a lot of fun!

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Sydney September 4, 2012 at 5:31 am

I love orzo! Every time I make a varied salad with it, people don’t know what it is, so I’m glad to see a new recipe using it. It’s been fun attending this shower with you. ;)

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Amy September 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I love orzo, too. It’s sort of my latest addiction. I’ve been scouring the interwebs for new ways to use it. THIS salad was definitely a winner. Thanks for stopping over Sydney!

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