Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill, and Lemon

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill, and Lemon

Random fact: I hate bringing lunch to work.

Am I the worst food blogger ever for preferring a sandwich that's been expertly prepared by the staff of Taylor Gourmet, to a sandwich I've made at home?


However, until I can get up at the butt-crack of dawn to roast my own meats, Taylor Gourmet wins.

A Taylor Gourmet opened roughly 5 steps away from my office last year, and I've become slightly addicted. Every time I walk into TG, I feel like I've died and gone to Heaven. Except, this Heaven is made of meat and bread, and not the white puffy clouds I've always pictured. There are no angels, just office drones in pencil skirts and Tory Burch flats. Then, I walk through the exit doors and get hit up for some change by one of 19th Street's urban campers, and I realize that I'm just in DC, and that Heaven will most likely not be decorated with pickle bucket light fixtures.

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill, and Lemon

There are just two problems with working in such close proximity to Meat Heaven: 1) It gets pricey, and 2) TG doesn't publish nutritional facts. I'd venture a guess that many of their sandwiches are pushing 1,000 calories, if not more.

Since part of being a grown up is doing things we hate, I made lunch and brought it to work to save myself some calories and some coinage.*

Guess what?! It was delicious. I happily ate this for lunch 3 days in a row, and only had a slight twinge of longing for my beloved sandwich shop. I put a couple big scoops of this over a bed of baby spinach, and felt totally virtuous about eating my greens.

*In the unlikely event that some of you reading are fellow Strangers with Candy fans, yes, that is a slight homage to the brilliantly dirty "Packing a Musket", by Jerry Blank.


1 cup uncooked orzo
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if you're packing this for lunch, bring an extra lemon wedge to squirt over the top before eating)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 large clove garlic, minced


Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, omitting salt and fat. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Stir together orzo, green onions, feta, dill, and chickpeas in a large bowl.

Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, water, salt, and garlic in a small bowl.  Pour dressing over the orzo mixture, toss to combine, and season to taste.

Yield: Approximately 6 cups (I got 3 generous lunches out of this amount)

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

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  1. This sounds like a great lunch. I have to badge through security no fewer than 3 times, so going out to lunch isn't something I do often (though, for some reason everyone I work with goes through the hassel daily). My lunches tend to suffer as I run out of tasty vegetarian lunch ideas, but this one seems like it'd be perfect for me!

  2. I will be making this tonight as my lunch for the rest of the week!! Sounds delish... and your post reminds me of walking to Devon and Blakely for lunch get-a-ways!

  3. Look at you all adult and everything! This salad looks perfect. I love those light fixtures, too cool!

  4. Nice.. I always end up going out to lunch when I should bring it in.. this salad has motivated me to get with it and make my own lunch.

  5. Yum! I love dill, it's so fresh and springy. And feta just goes so well with it too. I need to pack more lunches, I am wasting too much $ on going out :\

  6. aaaah i love strangers with candy! have you seen amy sedaris' book on entertaining? hilarious.

  7. I heart easy, flavorful lunches, especially with chickpeas. These looks so tasty and like it would make my work day that much better!

  8. I'm an orzo fanatic, and I think pairing it with these light, fresh flavors sounds fabulous. Making your own lunch can definitely be a good thing!

  9. We have matching bowls ;)

    And I feel ya on the lunch front! It's always a battle for me. I would be beyond thrilled to have this for lunch right about now.

  10. Hm, I've never heard of orzo... is it some kind of pasta? Looks a little like what we call 'risoni' over here (in Australia). Anyway, love the recipe... gorgeous combination of flavours. It's my first visit to your blog and I'm definitely going to be back to check out some of your other recipes and stories :) Thanks for sharing Maggie!

  11. Made this tonight...even though there is snow on the ground outside it felt like spring in my kitchen. I doubled the recipe and added a bit of lemon zest, more oil and garlic and only one can of chickpeas. Can't wait to eat it for lunch tomorrow :-)

  12. This sounds great...need to give it a try!

  13. Oh man, there's a Taylor Gourmet three blocks from my apartment but I've never checked it out...sounds like I need to remedy that stat!

    And I feel ya on lunch. My office has a pantry with free granola bars, chips, fruit, etc., so that's what I do 9 days out of 10. Though this week I brought some leftover stir fry one day. Progress!

  14. I'm always looking for lunches I can bring to work that will actually have me looking forward to my lunch break. This looks awesome!!


  15. lol...I hate bringing lunch to work too!!! This salad looks light and spring-y!

  16. I love dill. This looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing this recipe. You make the best stuff!

  17. This looks so delicious and includes many of my favorite ingredients. I have plenty of dill waiting to be devoured as such :)

  18. Dill is summer! I love it so so much. On everything. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  19. I know how you feel. I'd rather eat out at lunch every day, too! I've been packing peanut butter sandwiches.... so boring.

    This salad looks delicious! I'm loving chickpeas lately.

  20. Delicious and easy to make! We also added sliced kalamata olives which we thought went really well with the other flavors.


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