Friday, September 1, 2017 / ... comments / , , , , ,

Kale, Heirloom Tomato, and Orzo Salad

This beautiful vegan salad is filled with kale, tomatoes and orzo. Add chickpeas or pine nuts for extra protein. This colorful kale salad is perfect for meal prep or parties.
This beautiful vegan salad is filled with kale, tomatoes and orzo. Add chickpeas or pine nuts for extra protein. This colorful kale salad is perfect for meal prep or parties.
Monday is Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. Facebook and Pinterest are already abuzz with pumpkin spice this and that (guilty). But with all the gorgeous summer produce at its peak right now, I couldn't resist sharing this kale salad with juicy, rainbow colored heirloom tomatoes. This salad recipe is inspired by a salad I grabbed from the Whole Foods salad bar on a busy day. It was so good that I had to have more, and create my own recipe.  This salad is perfect to bring to a Labor Day get-together. It can be made early in the day and actually tastes better after chilling in the fridge for a few hours. It's also a great meal-prep option. Make it on Sunday and enjoy for lunch for several days. As often is the case in Santa Barbara, this September has started off pretty warm and toasty. I added a can of chickpeas to this salad and had it for a cold dinner. 



Red, yellow, and green heirloom tomatoes are sliced and ready to go into a big kale salad.
Aren't these summer heirloom tomatoes spectacular? Slicing and photographing them made me so happy. Nature's colors are so beautiful. With fresh produce like this, I believe it's best to keep the cooking simple. This salad practically needs no written recipe. Don't worry about measuring amounts of tomatoes and kale, just enjoy the process and add the amount you like. 


Close-up of a healthy kale salad with tomatoes, orzo, olives, and red onion slices.

This colorful kale, tomato, and orzo salad is hearty and bursting with color and flavor. Pitted kalamata olives add a salty briny bite that goes so well with the sweet tomatoes. We love adding sliced red onion and sweet basil for even more flavor. This salad is such a tasty way to get your daily dark leafy greens in. Orzo is a small, rice shaped variety of pasta. To me, it feels like comfort food, as served plain with a drizzle of olive oil, it's a common food for Italian toddlers. Orzo now comes in gluten-free and whole wheat varieties, though I used traditional orzo here as that's what Trader Joe's had, and mama doesn't always have time to drive around to multiple grocery stores. You know how it goes, right?

Kale salad with heirloom tomatoes and orzo is beautifully colorful, fresh, hearty, and flavorful. Whether for a last summer party or just to eat at home or work, I hope you enjoy this one!

xx,
Marina



Yield: Serves 6

Kale, Heirloom Tomato, and Orzo Salad

This beautiful hearty salad is perfect for late summer parties or lunch meal-prep. Add pine nuts or chickpeas for a protein boost. 
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 25 mins

INGREDIENTS


  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces curly kale, de-stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 16 oz. heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Cook orzo according package instructions. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, syrup, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  3. Place kale into a large salad serving bowl. Add dressing to taste and massage it into the kale. Toss the remaining ingredients into the dressed kale. Add any additional dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Beautiful colorful heirloom tomatoes top a healthy vegan kale salad with orzo. Add pine nuts or chickpeas for even more protein. This kale salad is perfect for parties or meal prep.


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