Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

by Kelli H. on May 19, 2011

I made this for dinner a few nights back and really didn’t have high hopes for it.  I had went on a walk around Spring Lake with my mom and by the time I got home, I didn’t feel like cooking.  I had picked this recipe out almost a week before and just wasn’t feelin it.  I told myself that I had no choice! I HAD to cook tonight since we had nothing else in the house to eat.  Boy, am I glad I did because this was SO tasty! Really, it’s surprising how much flavor is in that bowl.  You can definitely have this as a meal or also as a side dish.

Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
Adapted from Cooking Light May 2011

1 c uncooked orzo
1 c frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/4 c buttermilk*
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped & divided
3 T fresh lime juice 
2 T plain greek yogurt
2 T mayonnaise
1 t chili powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 clove garlic, minced
1 avocado, peeled & cut into 8 wedges

1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt & fat.  Drain & rinse well.  Place orzo, corn, & next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Drizzle over orzo mixture; toss.  Top with avocado; garnish with cilantro.

1/4 c buttermilk*  I don’t always have buttermilk on hand and really dislike buying it for one recipe.  If you plan on making buttermilk pancakes on the weekend with it then that’s great.  If you don’t plan on using it for anything else pour almost 1/4 cup regular milk in a measuring cup and pour a splash of white vinegar in the measuring cup as well.  Just to bring it up to 1/4 cup.  Let it sit for a minute and it will begin to clump up.  It taste exactly the same as buttermilk and you didn’t have to buy a whole carton for 1/4 cup.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan May 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm

You had me at avocado. 🙂
I dont think I’ve ever used orzo before. I wonder if you could substitute a grain like barley to up the fiberage?

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Made in Sonoma May 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm

@Megan
When I was making it, I was thinking quinoa would work perfectly.

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