Posted by: Joan Spiller | April 11, 2015

Orzo (Risoni) Salad – Recipe

Credit is needed before I post this. Originally tried by way of my friend Kaye .. I also learned to make it using risoni if orzo is unavailable, thanks to the incomparable Kent for that tip!

One of my FAVE salads, this is so simple / versatile I want everyone to try it cos once you do, you’ll be hooked!


The base recipe is pretty much a vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive oil with seasonings .. added to cooked orzo and herbs.

Kaye’s one has broccoli in it but I have learned it’s able to be used for almost anything.

Here’s the recipe, so you can see why I rave about it so much!


2c cooked orzo (or risoni) – al dente
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
3x more olive oil than lemon juice (ratio is 3:1 oil to acid, basically)
salt and pepper to your taste – I recommend lots!

NOW we get to the tricky bit – herbs and flavourings. 

Not everyone has French tarragon at their finger tips (a lovely aniseedy tasting herb, try it sometime!) but it’s so good in this dish .. as a rule I would have a half a cup of chopped herbs including parsley, basil and tarragon but you can do whatever you prefer.

To me this is an easy dish to make because I can get all the ingredients from my garden – so why not experiment with it, using what you have.
The herbs do matter tho ..

This is turning into one of those annoying recipes of “well, you could do this” .. “Or xyz works too .. ” but that’s the beauty of it .. you can do as much or little as you like and it’s still great!


Cook risoni / orzo ’til al dente, drain well and place in a large bowl. Immediately add the dressing and 1 finely minced red onion or shallot. (Chives also work) I find this allows the pasta to drink in the flavour while warm, and the onion cooks slightly, so it is sweet and not too pungent.

For myself, I add 1 finely minced fresh chilli at this stage also. Try it .. it’s awesome!

Now this is where you’ve got your base and can add to it as you so desire!

Remember tho: the herbs are a must! 1/2c of your faves, finely chopped – biff them in.

My fave additions at this point are one of the following (don’t do them all together, gack!)

Finely diced asparagus (par cooked)

Finely diced courgette (par cooked)

Finely chopped de-seeded tomatoes (raw) with a handful more basil than other herbs

Finely diced slow roasted pumpkin with toasted sunflower seeds

I like to cut the veg into tiny pieces, so each mouthful is a blend of flavours .. a little more effort but well worth it..

So, I hope you will give this a go – and if you come up with any amazing combinations please share!


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