Simple and bursting with flavor, this light and refreshing Orzo Spinach Roasted Veggie Salad is summertime deliciousness in a bowl. Wholesome, roasted garden veggies combined with delicate orzo pasta, then lightly dressed in lemony goodness makes for a fabulous Whole Food Plant Based recipe! Move over macaroni salad, there’s a new salad in town, ready for your next picnic/summertime meal! Healthy, vegan, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no processed ingredients.
Orzo Cooking Ingredients:
- 1 – 12 oz. package orzo
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- Zest of one lemon
- 4 cups fresh chopped baby spinach
- 15 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- ½ cup red onion, fine dice
Roasted Veggie Ingredients:
- 1 small zucchini, chopped to 1-inch squares
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped to 1-inch squares
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped to 1-inch squares
- 25 to 30 cherry (or grape) tomatoes
- Sprinkle of garlic powder
- Sprinkle of onion powder
- Sprinkle of paprika
- Sprinkle sea salt (+/-) *
- Sprinkle black pepper (+/-) *
Lemon Hemp Dressing Ingredients:
- 1 recipe of the Lemon Hemp Dressing
- Set oven to high broil.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper set aside.
- In a bowl, toss the chopped zucchini, chopped bell peppers and whole grape tomatoes with the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, sea salt and pepper, then lay out onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler for approx. 7 minutes or until the veggies have reached a tender-crisp stage. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool. The tomatoes will be wrinkled, but should not burst.
- In the meantime, in a medium sauce pot, add 4 cups of water, 2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon of dried basil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Heat to boiling, then add the orzo and cook according to package directions. When el dente or tender, depending on personal preference, remove from the heat, drain and rinse with cold water, drain well. Set aside until ready to make the salad.
- While the pasta is cooking, add all the Salad Ingredients into a large bowl.
- Make the Lemon Hemp Dressing. Make the Lemon Hemp Dressing, then make an additional 1/2 portion of the Lemon Hemp Dressing.
- Add the cooked and cooled orzo pasta into the bowl, along with the cooled (or slightly warm) roasted veggies, and all the other salad ingredients, then add half the Lemon Hemp Dressing and toss well (see notes).
- Continue to drizzle with some of the remaining salad dressing based upon preference. You may not need to use it all. Do not drench the salad with dressing. Retain any remaining salad dressing to add later as the pasta tends to drink up the salad dressing.
- Taste and add additional sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve as a delicious side salad or lunch.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Orzo Pasta: We used Delallo Gluten Free Corn & Rice Orzo, if not gluten free, use orzo pasta of choice).
*Salad Dressing/Room Temperature: This is a room-temperature salad. If you do not plan to consume all the salad in one sitting (at room temperature), then do not add the dressing. Add the dressing to individual servings. This salad is best served at room temperature. If the salad has been refrigerated, remove from the fridge for 30 minutes or longer allowing the salad to return to room temperature before serving. This allows the dressing flavors to come forward, the roasted veggies to become more flavorful, and this happens best when the salad and dressing are served at room temperature as typically done in many European and Middle Eastern countries.
*Serving: Makes 4 to 6 servings.
*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days, if undressed. Use within 2 days, if dressed.