Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet Peppers, Mint and Apple, Orzo Salad

The rain may have kaiboshed our berry picking plans for today, but it didn't spoil our picnic! Well... I guess it sorta did since we ate it in our kitchen, but it was still quite the treat! You see planning for the picnic today really got my arse in gear to recreate the orzo salad we fell in love with on our Lighthouse Picnic. I'm happy to report it was a successful attempt, tastes delish if I do say so myself ;)

  • 1/2 a 900g bag of Orzo Pasta
  • 1/2 cup diced Red Pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced Yellow Pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup peeled, diced Red Delicious Apple
  • 3/8 cup (aka 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup) White Wine Vinegar - Sorry, I was testing amounts and this seemed to work well
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Mint finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of roughly chopped Yellow Grape Tomatoes (or another grape/cherry variety)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Lovely Colours

Peppers, Onion and Apple relaxing in their vinaigrette bath!

1) Cook pasta according to package - ensure not to overcook and plump the noodles, these should be nice and al dente! Once pasta has cooked, drain and immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside and allow them to cool. Note: If pasta still seems to be sticking together, toss with 1-2 tsps of olive oil.

2) In a separate bowl, create the vinaigrette combining the white wine vinegar and honey. Whisk together until honey is incorporated.

3) In the meantime, prep peppers, onion and apple, adding each to the bowl of vinaigrette. Once all veg & fruit are in the vinaigrette, set aside and allow it to sit for 1 to 2 hours, mixing from time to time until everything is submerged. This will tenderize the otherwise harsh onions and preserve the colour of the apple. Note: There were no apples in the Lighthouse salad but I thought it was a welcome addition!

4) Combine all ingredients (veg/fruit vinaigrette medley - drained, mint, grated Parmesan & grape tomatoes) with the pasta. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Voila! A thing of beauty ;)


  1. I loved the Lighthouse Picnic experience and we go every year now for our anniversary. I, too, have tried to replicate the wonderful orzo salad on their menu, but I cannot seem to find orzo anywhere. I've had to make do with regular noodles cut into small pieces. Where do you buy your orzo? I cannot wait to test out this recipe!!

    1. Such a nice way to spend an anniversary!! This year was my first year there, but I will definitely go back again.

      As for the orzo, I'm not 100% positive as to where I found it, but I believe it was at the Dominion on Blackmarsh Road here in town. They have a huge pasta section, so if I were buying it again, I would check there first. Hopefully, they have some. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the salad :) Cheers!