Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Butter Crisped Garbanzo Beans

Ingredients

Creamy Feta Dressing

  • 8 ounces of Challenge Cream Cheese

  • ¾ cup of Plain Greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice

  • ¾ cup of crumbled feta cheese

  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  •  

Balsamic Tomatoes

  • 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic

  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano or basil, diced

  •  

Butter Crisped Garbanzo Beans

  • 15.5 ounce can of Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas) drained and rinsed

  • 4 tablespoons of Challenge Butter

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, diced

  • ½ teaspoon of salt

  •  

Orzo and Toppings

  • 16 ounces of Orzo Pasta, cooked as directed on package

  • 8 green onions, finely diced

  • 1 cup of red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

  • 1 cup of marinated artichokes, diced

  • 1 cup of Kalamata Olives, diced

  • 1 cup of diced Marcona Almonds, diced

  • 1 cup of cucumber, diced

 

Directions

  1. Place Challenge Cream Cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, feta and garlic in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse dressing until well combined and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic. Add tomatoes. Marinate tomatoes for at least 30 minutes before adding to salad.

  3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and oil. Pat garbanzo beans dry with a paper towel. When butter and oil are hot, add beans. Cook until beans become crispy and brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Season with fresh rosemary and salt.

  4. To assemble the salad, mix together prepared orzo with about half of your Creamy Feta Dressing, reserving the extra to serve on the side if desired. Stir in diced green onions and red bell pepper. Spread pasta into the bottom of a large serving platter. Arrange Balsamic Tomatoes, Butter Crisped Garbanzo Beans, feta cheese, artichokes, olives, almonds and cucumbers in a beautiful design or rows across the top of your pasta. Refrigerate until needed. Toss salad together before serving.

 

TIP: Add strips of grilled chicken or shrimp to create a great entrée. A great idea for leftovers!

Creates 16 servings when served as a side dish.