Risoni Salad with Chick Peas and Ramiro Pepper

Ever since I saw the recipe for Lemony Risoni on Emmie’s blog, I’ve been wanting to make something with this pasta camouflaged in the shape of rice. It’s so cute, and absorbs flavors even more readily than other shapes of pasta. Otherwise this is a pretty basic salad recipe with a basic vinaigrette, but I think that the risoni made it special – we really liked how it’s texture combined with the floury chick peas and the crunchy veggies.

We used a pointed ramiro pepper for the salad, since Heikki happened to find a good deal on them in the grocery. They are sweeter than regular bell peppers, and slice beautifully, making them perfect for use in salads.

Salad:

  • 2 dl dry risoni (orzo) pasta
  • 4 dl cooked chick peas
  • 1 medium head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 red ramiro pepper, thinly sliced
  • bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
  • a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for the risoni
  • 1-2 cloves garlic

Dressing:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 dl olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper

FIrst, I cooked the risoni according to the instructions on the package, only to find it to be a little too crunchy still, and ended up cooking it double as long as the time indicated in the package. When it was finally done, I rinsed it in cold water, added a tablespoon of olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, and two pressed garlic cloves, and refrigerated the risoni for about 15 minutes, while we proceeded with the rest of the salad.

We prepped the veggies and mixed the dressing, and then I tossed half of the dressing with the iceberg lettuce in the salad bowl, and the other half with the chick peas in a smaller bowl. Then I poured the risoni in the salad bowl, tossed to mix with the lettuce, added the chick peas, and sprinkled with the peppers and the spring onions.

This recipe makes a lot of salad, but Heikki and I finished it by bedtime – we just couldn’t stop ourselves.

Cooked risoni – looks like rice to me!

4 Comments

  1. Posted April 4, 2008 at 11:51 | Permalink

    Looks Great!

  2. Posted April 4, 2008 at 15:10 | Permalink

    I’ve spent a whole day thinking “but that pasta had another name…”, and now I’ve seen it in the recipe: Orzo! silly me, I should read slower!
    The dish looks amazing.

  3. Anni
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 15:21 | Permalink

    Alice – that’s why I added orzo in the brackets, I’m not sure which one of the names is more common… Our pasta package actually just says “durum wheat pasta”!

  4. Posted April 7, 2008 at 11:11 | Permalink

    That salad looks really beautiful and sounds totally yummy!

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