Lentil and Orzo Salad

Those of you who know me in person know that I love to cook. I love almost everything about it. From the shopping for fun ingredients, the prep work (chopping, slicing, dicing, grating), the actual assembly, and most importantly the eating. I'm going to start documenting some of the meals that I make and provide the recipe, as well as the step by step process to make the dish on your own. So without further ado...I present Lentil and Orzo Salad (full recipe at the bottom of the post)!

First off, a list of the ingredients we'll be using. Lentils, orzo, parsley (or any other leafy herbs), red pepper, feta, garlic, apple cider vinegar (red wine vinegar would be fine as well), olive oil (extra virgin is best for uncooked dishes), salt, and pepper.

Start by boiling 1 cup lentils, and 1 cup of orzo in separate pans. Lentils are an excellent source of protein and nutrients. Orzo is a type of pasta similar in size and shape to a grain of rice. Through the magic of Photoshop, I've merged both pictures because you probably don't care about looking at pictures of stuff boiling, much less TWO pictures of it. Boil both for about 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Next, finely dice the parsley, garlic, and red pepper. Knife work is one of my favorite things. I LOVE chopping veggies, and turning whole things into little slivers. Dicing, slicing, julienne, brunoise, I love all of it.

Combine the warm lentils and orzo, the veggies, and the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

A few notes...the recipe calls for one cup of herbs, but it doesn't have to be all the same herb. A mixture is really good. Try parsley, basil, and mint together. We've also added a 1/2 cup of peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber (goes great with the red pepper). Eat it warm, or better yet refrigerate and let the flavors meld. This is what the finished product should look like.

Lentil and Orzo Salad

Prepare lentils and orzo as directed on package, drain and pour into a large bowl. While still hot, stir in remaining ingredients. Add 1/4 cup oil and vinegar to start, taste and decide whether it needs the second 1/4 cup. Refrigerate and serve cold.