Thanksgiving season is here, and cranberries are calling my name.
I’m excited to join with Square Meal Round Table for an ingredient-based collaboration and show you this delicious salad that revolves around the sweet, tart flavors of fall’s best red friend. I’ve used fresh cranberries for this recipe, but it also works with frozen cranberries, making it perfect to enjoy all year. It’s also wonderfully adaptable; you can substitute white or brown rice in place of the orzo to make it gluten free, and if you can eat nuts (unlike me) you can use toasted almonds in place of the pepitas.
This works beautifully as a side salad, but it can also be front and center for your meal. Zingy citrus, tangy roasted cranberries, delicate pasta and some slightly crunchy pepitas all come together to make a satisfying #yesyoucranberry dish. Scroll down below the recipe to see what other folks are making with this season’s best and brightest berry. Many thanks to @squaremealroundtable and @whatannieseating for organizing this virtual Cranberry Fest!
Cranberry Orzo Salad
2 cups cooked orzo
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, halved
1 medium navel orange, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup pepitas (you can toast these if you’d like)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place sliced cranberries on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes and set aside.
While the cranberries are roasting, place the cooked orzo into a large bowl and add orange chunks, red onion and lemon juice. The acidity of the lemon juice and orange will soften the bite of the red onion.
Next add the parsley and pepitas and thoroughly combine the ingredients.
Add the roasted cranberries, including any oil that remains on the baking sheet to the orzo bowl and stir again.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil with honey and orange zest. Pour this dressing over the orzo and combine all ingredients. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.
If you make this and post it, tag me (@lalalunchbox) I’d love to see!
Check out these other lovely accounts to see how they’re featuring cranberries!