This Smoked Salmon Orzo Salad, with a refreshing creamy lemon dressing, is a perfect summer dish.
Could you believe my friends it’s already July? Even though we’ve got only a few weeks of official summer having passed, I’m starting to be a little nervous. Seriously, all seasons are so short that there’s no chance you get sick and tired of eating or making seasonal things. Please, cherries and watermelons, don’t leave me.
As it often happens to me, I need some time to speed up. At first, I might not have many (any) good ideas. However, as weeks start to quickly pass by, I always find some interesting concepts. Well, do you know that feeling when you’ve got an amazing cherry recipe in September, my friends?
If yes, you might understand me. It’s like you’re trying to embrace all the possible ingredients and food. Unfortunately, that’s impossible unless you’ve got tons of available time and money. And 9 stomachs like my favorite ALF (Do you remember this sitcom?) happened to have.
If I had more time and money, still there are not enough people around me to feed.
On top of that, I always go ahead. Thus, even though it’s only the beginning of July, practically, I already have the material for the next 3 weeks.
Oh boy. Stop complaining, Ben. Let people enjoy some beautiful summer food and this Smoked Salmon Orzo Salad.
Smoked Salmon Orzo Salad
I’m a huge fan of pasta salads. However, I’m quite picky about a pasta salad. First of all, I do not accept a pasta salad as a side dish. It must be enough for me. I just don’t count salads in spoons – only in bowls.
Also, I do not accept a soggy pasta salad when the ratio of the salad and dressing isn’t correct. Hint: the ratio of 1 cup of salad to 1 cup of dressing is wrong. Normally, I go with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic which is enough for a pasta salad. However, I’m not completely against of mayo dressings. It has to be in a very moderate amount. Yes, I’m a weirdo who prefers the taste of pasta over the dressing.
This Smoked Salmon Orzo Salad is the perfect summer salad to me. Why? Let me give you a couple of reasons.
1. Smoked salmon is good protein and fat source.
2. Fresh vegetables such as asparagus, cucumber, and radishes make this salad delicious, healthy, juicy, and crunchy.
3. Creamy but light lemon walnut dressing is a delightful summery part which holds all ingredients together.
4. Orzo (or any other small-shaped pasta) supplies us with carbs and thus, makes us happy.
5. And if you follow my rule to have a pasta salad as the main dish, well that means more pasta salad on your plate.
Great news, isn’t it?
- about 1/2 cup dry orzo
- 100-125 gr. cold smoked salmon, torn into strips
- 2 handfuls of arugula
- medium bunch of asparagus (10-12 spears), trimmed
- 1 medium or 2 small cucumbers, sliced
- 5-7 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp. walnut (or olive) oil
- 1 tbsp. greek yogurt
- few drops of honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the orzo in a pot of salted boiling water as recommended on package, until al dente. When the orzo is almost ready (2 minutes until turning heat off), submerge the asparagus in the water and cook just 1-2 minutes depending on its size. Remove the pot from heat, rinse the orzo and asparagus under running cold water and drain leaving in a large strainer.
- In a meanwhile, make a simple dressing by putting all ingredients in a mason jar and vigorously shaking it for a minute or until combined. Try and adjust the taste by adding more salt (or maybe more honey).
- Place the orzo, salmon, arugula, cucumber, and radishes in a bowl.
- Serve salad at once or after refrigerating it with the dressing.