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Orzo salad with green beans, tomatoes, and olives

(Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe)
August 8, 2012
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Serves 8

The rice-shaped pasta orzo pairs well with vegetables in summer salads. Tomatoes bring their juicy freshness, olives add a briny taste, and basil, mint, and marjoram make the other ingredients pop. Substitute whatever herbs you grow or find at the farmstand; use enough so you really taste them in the dish. If you like, add some whole herb leaves to the salad.

½pound slender green beans, trimmed and halved on a diagonal
16ounces orzo
¼cup olive oil
3red or yellow tomatoes, cut into thin slivers (with their juices)
1cup pitted Nicoise or

Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
¼large sweet onion, cut into fine strips
¼cup chopped fresh basil,

or more to taste
¼cup chopped fresh mint,

or more to taste
¼cup chopped fresh

marjoram, or more to taste
Salt and pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans for 2 minutes or until they are bright green and still a little crunchy. Use tongs to transfer them to a bowl of cold water.

2. Return the water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 9 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite. Drain in a colander. Transfer to a serving bowl.

3. Pour the oil over the orzo and toss well. Set aside to cool.

4. Drain the beans and pat them dry with paper towels.

5. Add the beans, tomatoes, olives, onion, basil, mint, marjoram, salt, and pepper to the orzo. Toss well. Lisa Zwirn

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