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½ pound orzo
¾ cup raisins
1 small yellow, red, or orange bell pepper (or a combo), cored, seeded and cut into small cubes
1/3 cup thawed frozen peas or steamed fresh peas
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup olive oil (not extra-virgin)
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon grated orange rind
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thai basil (optional)
Cook orzo in salted boiling water for about 7 to 9 minutes, until tender.
Place in a sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
Meanwhile, combine all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add orzo, raisins, peppers and peas, and toss well.
Serve immediately or reserve, covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
Toss again and adjust seasoning before serving.
You can add 1/3 cup of julienned carrots or thawed frozen or fresh (par-boiled) corn kernels and/or 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, or cashews to salad. Crumbled feta cheese is another fine addition.