Late Summer Orzo Salad with Green Tea Basil Vinaigrette

It’s August and the farm stands and farmers markets are loaded with fresh goodies. Take advantage of summer with this light, refreshing pasta salad, packed with greens and easy to prepare.  Feed a crowd or just the family, and tailor to taste with ease. Whether enjoyed immediately or chilled, this versatile recipe makes an ideal main dish or a cool accompaniment.

Store-bought dressings are often loaded with unwanted sugars, sodium, and preservatives. A simple basil vinaigrette made with ORGANIC INDIA’s Tulsi Green Tea Infusion pairs deliciously with the fresh flavors of summer. Revered in India as “The Queen of Herbs”, Tulsi, or Holy Basil, has been used for over 5,000 years to alleviate stress, lift mood, bolster immunity, and naturally rid the body of toxins. ORGANIC INDIA products are made from quality ingredients and lovingly cultivated by small family farmers throughout India using regenerative agricultural practices…which means you’re caring for your health, our planet, and a whole world community with every delicious bite. 

Orzo Salad with Green Tea Basil Vinaigrette

6-8 servings

For the salad:

  • 2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups spinach or other greens, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Optional: olives, avocado, feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi green tea infusion bag 
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  •  1 clove garlic, minced
  •  1 tablespoon minced red onion
  •  1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar 
  •  Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 
  •  1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
  •  Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cook orzo in generously salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
  2. While orzo is cooking, prepare the dressing: Steep the tea infusion bag in 1/3 cup boiled water for ten minutes. Remove tea bag and squeeze any remaining liquid into the tea. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the basil, garlic, red onion, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed and set aside.
  3. Place the cooled orzo into a bowl and toss with the dressing. Add in all remaining salad ingredients as well as any addends desired. 

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