Olive Orzo Salad

Orzo makes any salad very light. The flavor comes out with the combination of the lemon, garlic, fresh basil and oregano.   The vegetable stock and balsamic vinegar keep the salad very moist.  This can be served as either an entrée or a side salad.


1 box of orzo
1 lb. green beans, trimmed, sliced in half
1 1/2 cup kalamata olives
1 zucchini, sliced in rounds, then halved
1 red onion, diced
8 oz shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
Juice from one lemon
1 cup vegetable stock
¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1 t. salt
1 t. oregano
1 t. thyme
6 large basil leaves, sliced thinly
Pepper to taste


Prepare orzo according to package directions.

Slice the zucchini in rounds then in halves.  Spread out on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Let sit while the beans are cooking.
Place green beans with ½ cup of water in a large skillet.  Steam on high until the green beans turn a bright green color.  Pour out liquid and place in a separate bowl.

Take a paper towel and wipe off excess salt and liquid from the zucchini.  Place in skillet with some water and steam for a few minutes until the zucchini is cooked thoroughly.  Place in bowl with cooked green beans.

Place the diced onion, shitake mushrooms and 2 cloves of garlic in skillet with a bit of water.  Cook until the onion and mushrooms are thoroughly cooked and water is absorbed.  Pour the vegetable stock and balsamic vinegar on top of vegetables and stir. 

In a nice size pasta bowl combine the orzo, green beans, zucchini, onion and shitake mushroom mixture, lemon zest, and lemon juice, the remaining clove of minced garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, basil and pepper.  Mix well and serve either at room temperature on some lettuce leaves or refrigerate and serve cold.