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Orzo, Pepper and Basil Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dried orzo
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 large red yellow or orange bell peppers, grilled with their skin on, cored, seeded and chopped into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 12 greek olives pitted and cut into thirds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces goat cheese cheese crumbles

Instructions
 

  • Cook orzo in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta, pressing out excess liquid. Spread out on a baking sheet to cool.
  • Grill peppers and seed and chop into a half-inch dice
  • Add olive oil to a skillet
  • Add thyme, garlic and season with salt and pepper, and cook for one minute
  • Add the reserved pasta water and stir to combine
  • Add cooled orzo, to a bowl with lemon juice, prepared dressing, chopped peppers, olives, chopped basil, and goat cheese crumbles. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Mix well, then transfer to a large serving bowl or platter. Garnish with more basil.

Notes

 
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