[1] Make this tasty side salad from scratch, or with leftover orzo or grains (all photos © DeLallo).

DeLallo Orzo
[2] It’s easy to mistake this bag of DeLallo orzo for some type of rice.

DeLallo Chickpeas
[3] Chickpeas, meaty legumes from the Mediterranean, are packed with protein and fiber. These premium chickpeas

are available from DeLallo.

Seasoned Kalamata Olives
[4] These pitted, seasoned Kalamata olives (DeLallo spells it Calamata) are available from DeLallo. The seasoning adds zing to the tartness.

 

Here’s a tasty idea from DeLallo to turn leftover orzo or grains into something much more appealing.

The producer of premium packaged foods adds color and flavor, including tart Kalamata olives and a golden/white balsamic (see below) vinaigrette. If you’re using darker grains, you can use a regular balsamic.

With a Greek flair, this combination of crunchy, sweet, and tart will make you want a larger portion than a side.
 
 
WHAT IS ORZO?

Orzo is a shape of pasta that is extruded (shaped through metal plates) to look like grains of rice, about 1/3-inch long (photos #1 and #2).

It is made of the same durum wheat as other Italian pasta. The durum is milled into semolina flour, then blended with spring water. The dough is then extruded and allowed to dry.

  • Orzo is actually the Italian word for barley, which it also resembles (an unprocessed grain of barley looks similar to a grain of rice).
  • In Greece, the word is kritharáki, meaning “little barley.”
  • In Italy, it’s also called risoni, Italian for large grains of rice. A similar shape in Spain called piñones, which is also the Spanish word for pine nuts.
  • In Turkey, orzo is called arpa şehriye, which translates, poetically, as “songbird tongue.”
  •  
    In addition to plain semolina orzo, varieties are available flavored with black bean, red chile and sweet potato, among others.

    Orzo is frequently used as a substitute for rice and can be used instead of, or combined with, rice to make pilafs and risottos. It is also used like rice or barley in soups, salads and sides.

    See more types of pasta in our Pasta Glossary.
     
     
    RECIPE: GARDEN GREEK ORZO SALAD

    Ingredients For 6-8 Sides
     
    For The Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons DeLallo Golden Balsamic-Style Vinegar (substitute white balsamic, white wine vinegar or rice vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  
    For The Salad

  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted seasoned Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise then sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or dill
  • 1 (1-pound) package orzo, cooked, room temperature
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the dressing: Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk together to incorporate. Introduce the oil in a steady stream while whisking. Set aside.

    2. COMBINE the combine chickpeas, olives, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs in a large serving bowl. Toss with the orzo or grain.

    3. ADD the dressing and mix well to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled.
     
     
    WHAT IS WHITE BALSAMIC / GOLDEN BALSAMIC VINEGAR?

    Golden or white balsamic vinegar is made in the balsamic style, with trebbiano, a white grape, but without the dark grapes that contribute to the dark color of regular balsamic. It is blended with white wine vinegar.

     
    It was created in the same area of Italy (Modena) as traditional balsamic vinegar, developed to have a lighter color for use in light-colored sauces and vinaigrettes.

    In addition to vinaigrettes and sauces, use it to deglaze a pan and to dress roasted vegetables.

    Although it was introduced as white balsamic, it has a golden color. More recently, producers have been calling it golden balsamic: It’s the same thing.

    White/golden balsamic has a sweet-and-tart flavor profile like the conventional product, but with It tends to be sweeter than conventional balsamic.

    As with dark balsamic, the grape must (the freshly-crushed grape juice that contains the skins, seeds and stems of the fruit) is simmered, but avoids the caramelization that turns the must dark. The result is also aged for less time, in oak or stainless steel barrels.

    And as with traditional balsamics, there are all levels of quality and price, and “factory made” balsamics that are white vinegar doctored to look and taste like an authentically-produced balsamic.

    Here’s more about balsamic vinegar.

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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