2 cups dry orzo
1 red onion or 2 shallots, small diced
1 green or red bell pepper, small diced
1/4 cup of mixed herbs (i.e. parsley, thyme and basil), minced
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 C. sun-dried tomatoes, small diced
1 T red wine vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil plus more for sautéing
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 C. Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (if not in season, skip these)
2 C. Protein if desired (diced sausage is a nice choice)
Optional: Crumbled Goat Cheese or Feta Cheese on top
1. Bring four quarts of water to a rolling boil and add a pinch of salt and the orzo. The orzo will take between 10 to 12 minutes and should be cooked through but not mushy.
2. While the orzo is cooking, sauté the shallots over medium heat for about three minutes and then add the bell pepper for another two minutes. Set aside.
3. Strain orzo through a colander and rinse with some cold water to stop the pasta from continuing to cook.
4. Transfer orzo to a large bowl and stir in 1 T extra virgin olive oil to coat the pasta. Add the shallots and peppers to the orzo followed by the sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, 1 T extra virgin oil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine everything and adjust seasonings if necessary.
5. When the pasta has cooled down to room temperature gently stir in the cherry tomatoes. Enjoy at room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator.
Optional: To make this dish more substantial you can add diced sausage when sautéing the shallots and bell pepper. The dish can also be finished by crumbling goat cheese on top. If you want to want more vegetables add some steamed broccoli or cauliflower when adding the other ingredients to the orzo.