Orzo Salad

Prep: 4 hours (includes chilling) Cook: 10 minutes

Serves:6-8

By Tiffany Hobson
This is a great salad to take for a picnic. Make sure you make this hours before consuming; the flavors blend together in the refrigerator to give this salad an "oily" mouth feel consistency. I am often quizzed by my friends as to how I can produce a salad they swear has oil in it. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh fava beans (about 20-30 large pods)
  • 4 cups orzo
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 6 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, cut into 1/8’s
  • 1-2 fresh lemons, juiced
  • 1/2-1 1/2 tbsp fresh marjoram, minced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste

Directions

Fava Beans:
Take the fava beans out of their pods. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When water is boiling, add the fava beans and cook for 1 minute. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately place them in the ice water. Let them sit in the ice water until they have completely cooled, about 3-5 minutes. Shell the fava beans. Fava beans look like they have Mohawks; use your thumb nail to break the front of the Mohawk and pull to remove the "cap". Use your thumb and index finger to "pop" out the bean. Set aside.

Orzo:
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the orzo and cook to an al dente consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.

The Salad:
In a large non-stick pan, saute the onion, garlic, and dried marjoram in the vegetable broth until soft (about 5-7 minutes). Add orzo, fava beans, sundried tomatoes, and lemon juice and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the fresh marjoram and cook for 1 more minute. Place salad in a glass bowl and refrigerate, uncovered, for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Before serving, add freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste, if desired.

Hint: Marjoram is in my top 5 of favorite spices. The dried marjoram blends beautifully with the onion and garlic. Fresh marjoram adds a light freshness to this dish. You may cut the fresh marjoram to 1/2 tablespoon or add as much as 1 1/2 tablespoons, but I would do no more or no less. For another variation to this salad, add a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar to the salad and toss just before serving.