Risoni Salad w/ Baby Rocket & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I found this pasta salad in the latest issue of ABC’s Delicious Magazine (April 2010) and straight away decided that it was something I wanted to try. Risoni or Orzo is delicate yet hearty and works beautifully in this simple salad.

The original recipe called for the ingredients to be cooled before combining, but due to the cold weather (in New Zealand) at the moment, I decided to mix it all together while still warm and it worked perfectly.

I also added mint to the dressing and used a red onion instead of eschalot for a slightly fuller flavour. We served this as a light and healthy main meal with warmed wholegrain bread spread with a little hummus. Simple and very delicious!!

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Risoni Salad w/ Baby Rocket & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Preparation time: 25 mins // Serves 4 as a side

  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), halved and de-seeded
  • 250g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1¼ cups risoni pasta (orzo)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, de-seeded and diced
  • 2 cups baby rocket leaves

for the dressing

  • 1 tbs red wine
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs mint, roughly chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/390°F

Place the capsicum cut side down on a lightly oiled baking tray. Cook in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes to the tray, drizzle with half the olive oil and return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove once the capsicum and cherry tomatoes are softened and skins wilted, set aside.

Meanwhile heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large deep frypan; add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes over a moderate heat. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.

Add the risoni and stir to coat well with the oil; add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn heat down to low and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes until risoni is tender and stock absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly for 3-4 minutes.

Roughly chop the cooled capsicum and combine with the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, baby rocket and warm risoni.

To make the dressing whisk all ingredients together and then toss gently through the salad until well combined.

Serve as a side or a light main meal with crusty bread.

{ This recipe was adapted from the Risoni, Roast Tomato & Capsicum Salad by Curtis Stone found in ABC’s April 2010 Delicious Magazine } 

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