The weather is finally starting to warm up and the Spring season has officially arrived. The sun has been making more of an appearance the last several days and that’s given us a craving for bright warm weather flavor. The only food profile that comes to mind to satisfy that Summer taste is lemon! We love lemons and a lemon pasta salad is the perfect start to our warm weather trend. If you’ve never tried lemon on pasta, I urge you to start with our BLACK BEAN LEMON ORZO SALAD. This salad has bright veggies of spinach, tomatoes, onion, and red bell pepper that intertwine with delicate lemon and olive oil infused orzo pasta and creamy black beans for the perfect flavorsome bite. You’re gonna wanna keep this recipe in your back pocket for any outdoor meals in the coming months. So, let’s hop to it!
BLACK BEAN LEMON ORZO SALAD:
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 1 cup cooked black beans. ( If using canned- drain and rinse.)
- 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1.2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, chopped small
- Extra virgin olive oil for cooking
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Start by cooking the orzo pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining.
- Heat a skillet with a swirl of olive oil, when the pan is hot add diced bell pepper and onion- saute about two minutes until they become translucent.
- Add tomatoes to the skillet- cook for another two minutes.
- To the same skillet after a second two minute cooking, add black beans and lemon zest- cook for a final two minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside and prepare the dressing.
- When you have the dressing whisked together. Add the cooked orzo to the dressing bowl. Fold around.
- Add cooked veggies to the dressing bowl. Fold together.
- Add fresh spinach, fold around until everything is evenly distributed.
- Serve hot or cold.
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried chopped onion
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, add lemon juice and sugar. Whisk together to dissolve the sugar into the lemon juice.
- Add in the parsley, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried onions. Whisk together.
- Whisk in the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.