Blanching the bell peppers for a few seconds tenderizes them while maintaining their delightful crunch. The marinated cheese provides a shortcut for adding more flavor.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1/2 cup (2 ounces) diced fresh marinated mozzarella cheese (such as Cappiello)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
How to Make It
To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.
To prepare salad, cook pasta in boiling water 6 minutes or until al dente. Add bell peppers to pasta in pan; cook 10 seconds. Drain. Combine pasta mixture and half of dressing in a large bowl; cool mixture to room temperature. Add remaining dressing, tomato, and remaining ingredients; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
This is such an excellent recipe, easy to make, and loaded with flavor. When I first made it I didn't have some items so I substituted for Feta Cheese instead of what it calls for originally and I omitted the red onions. For the dressing I added 1/4 cup of kalamata olive juice and used Pomegranate Red Vine Vinegar. I try to make it as much as possible so people can experience this delight!
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