Orzo Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing

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The blogosphere is oozing with Fall recipes; desserts dressed up in pumpkin pie spices and all that talk about slow cooker recipes is making me a little jealous. The idea of Fall is so far-fetched for us.. I mean seriously we'd happily take anything in 80's. 

I am desperate for some cool breeze against my pretty scarves..cozying up with a tall mug of rich hot chocolate and pumpkin donuts is starting to feel so right..but you guys, its not happening here anytime soon. So, I have decided to fantasize the idea of Fall with warm orzo salad doused with a healthy dose of tahini lemon dressing. This is my transition salad - everything here screams "I am ready for Fall but let me enjoy the last of delicious summer vegetables."

Orzo is cooked and drained. Summer veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers) are chopped. Tahini Lemon dressing is gently poured.

Essentials like bright red arils (pomegranate seeds) and cilantro are mixed in and the dinner is ready - just like that.

The salad is great when served alone but if you have the last of zucchini lying around - use them up.  I grilled thin slices with a dash of salt and generous amount of pepper. 

Use this salad to bridge bittersweet Summer of 2013 with the upcoming Fall. Get inspired by orange - use roasted carrots or pumpkins instead of zucchini if you'd like. I am sure swapping cilantro with other herbs like parsley or basil would be great.. but if I were you, I would stick to the show stopper tahini lemon dressing. It's creamy, tad garlicky, and lemony which will marry Fall and Summer into one big, happy, flavorful plate.   Thanks Joanne for the inspiration to use orzo!

Orzo Salad

4-5 servings 

Ingredients 1 cup orzo (cooked according to the package and drained) 1 small cucumber, seeded and roughly diced 2 medium tomatoes, quartered handful of cilantro, chopped Tahini lemon dressing (recipe to follow) 1 small pomegranate, seeded salt and pepper to taste

Directions
- In a medium bowl, place orzo with tomatoes and cucumber.
- Gently pour dressing and combine everything together. Add salt and pepper as necessary and pour more dressing if needed.
- Stir in cilantro and top with pomegranate.
- Enjoy it with grilled veggies or alone warm or cold. 
 
Tahini Lemon Dressing
Combine 1/4 cup tahini with lemon juice, (squeezed from 2 lemons), 1 garlic clove, minced, and cumin powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of water for thinner consistency. Adjust seasonings per your liking.
Note:
I add about 3/4 amount of the dressing and saved some to drizzle later because this salad was little dry the next day. When added with additional dressing and after a quick stir, it was fine and I had it cold.
 

- What is the weather like around you? 

Remember to enter the giveaway for Prevention RD's Cookbook here.