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Whole Wheat Orzo Salad with Kale, Chickpeas, Lemon, Feta

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo, cooked according to package directions and drained well
  • salt for pasta cooking water
  • 4 cups fresh kale, chopped (about 4-5 oz. kale leaves)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, for pan used to wilt the kale
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Dressing Ingredients:
  • zest and juice of one large lemon (about 1 T zest and 3 T juice)
  • 2 T white balsamic vinegar (or substitute any type of mild white vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Recipe

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil, add several generous pinches of salt and cook the orzo according to package directions, being careful not to overcook.  Drain into a fine-mesh colander and let the orzo cool while you prep the other directions.
If using a bunch of curly kale, cut the kale away from the stalks and coarsely chop.  (If needed, wash kale with a salad spinner and spin dry.)  Heat the tsp. of olive oil in a large heavy frying pan over medium high heat, add the kale all at once and turn over until it wilts, not more than 1-2 minutes.  Immediately put the kale in a bowl large enough to hold all the salad ingredients.  
Drain the garbanzo beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears, and let beans drain  until they are quite dry.  (Blot with paper towels if needed.)  Finely chop half a red onion, and crumble enough Feta to make 3/4 cup.
Mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest, white balsamic vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper, and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing. 
When the orzo has cooled, add it to the bowl with the wilted kale.  Add the garbanzo beans and finely  finely diced red onion and gently mix to combine.  Add dressing a few tablespoons at a time and gently stir until all the ingredients are well-coated with dressing.  (You probably won't need all the dressing.)  Gently stir in the crumbled Feta and serve.
 
Makes 4 generous servings.

Kalyn's Kitchen via Nosh On It

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