24 June 2011

Summer Salad Favorite: Orzo Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Cilantro

Just as the cilantro begins to ripen in the garden, my thoughts and senses start longing for one of my favorite summer salads.

This recipe for Orzo Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Cilantro has been in my file for some time;  I believe it came from a friend who served it at a summer barbecue and I just had to bring it home - the recipe, that is!  It has been a favorite ever since.

It is surprisingly light, flavorful and easy to prepare ... and always brings compliments when I serve it.

I must apologize for the lack of ingredient amounts, as it is the type of dish that a little more of this and a little less of that makes no diff.  A very forgiving and adaptable dish.  Just keep the ingredients as fresh and seasonal as you can and you'll have a winner!  I must admit to making this in the winter from time to time;  while it doesn't shine like it does in the height of the summer garden season, it still is a nice dish to come home to! 

(Notes:  1.  For those of you unfamiliar with orzo, it is a type of pasta, common in the grocery store, that looks a bit like grains of rice.  2.  Adjust the seasonings, oil, vinegar, and lime to taste.

And so I offer you .....

Orzo Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Cilantro

1 cup dry orzo, cooked a bit past al dente, but not mushy - rinse in cold water and drain well
1-2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 ears or corn, cooked and kernels removed (frozen can be substituted)
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion or 3-4 shallots, chopped
cilantro, chopped
ancho chili powder
fresh lime juice (about 2 small limes)
olive oil
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.  (Make early in the day and refrigerate so the flavors marry.)

A great colorful dish to take to a summer party  ...  present this summer salad favorite on a bed of fresh red and green looseleaf lettuce - yum!!  Gotta love the colors.  Hope you'll love it, too.


  1. Wow, that looks delicious. I've still got some cilantro hanging on in my garden and I'll give it a shot.

  2. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Mouth watering photo :)

    Your newest follower,


  3. This looks wonderful. I might have to try it this weekend.
    I saw a link to your blog in the etsy forums~I can't resist anything bird related~so here I am.
    Glad I found you~Eileen
    PS. I also checked out your shop and it is lovely.

  4. Eileen - I hope you'll love it - it's a summer staple here at home.

    Thanks Green Bean, Laurie,and Eileen for dropping by to say "hi!"


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