Artichokes, Northern Beans and Orzo Salad

Artichokes, Northern Beans and Orzo Salad would be a smash hit at any potluck affair.  And anyone looking for light lunch recipes, this recipe works for them, too.  The marinated artichokes hearts really add zing to this dish, don't even think about leaving them out.  To bump it up on the healthy grains recipes meter, I used whole wheat orzo pasta.  That made me feel even better about eating it all for myself. ;D

This simple healthy recipe can easily be doubled or divided.


Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marinated artichokes hearts
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground pepper

In a large pot of boiling water, cook orzo pasta for 12 to 15 minutes, until tender to the bite.  Drain.  Transfer to large salad bowl.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then toss until well coated. (Cover bowl to keep pasta from drying out on top, if you don't have all the vegetables chopped yet.)

With the pasta, add in the artichokes with their marinade, Northern Beans, bell pepper, carrot, sweet peas, onion and capers.  Give it good toss.  Then add in the minced garlic, chopped basil, lemon juice and seasonings.  Give the salad another good toss.  Allow to stand for 20 minutes or more before serving.

It's even better tasting the next day.  ;D