Independence Day celebrations crank up the heat, don’t they. Think about it for a minute — barbecues, cook-outs, fried chicken, weenie roasts and blazing hot fireworks shrieking through the sky, all at the peak of summer temps. Turn down the flames a bit with this cool twist on pasta salad, healthy and light, while full of zesty flavor … in General Washington’s favorite color scheme.

A simple combination of fresh ingredients and pantry staples create a light & healthy salad for your Independence Day buffet.

A simple combination of fresh ingredients and pantry staples creates a light and healthy salad for your Independence Day buffet.

Orzo, red beans, blueberries, feta, and herbs tossed with a sweet red wine vinaigrette makes a Yankee Doodle Dandy!

Orzo, red beans, blueberries, feta, and herbs tossed with a sweet red wine vinaigrette makes a Yankee Doodle Dandy!

Serve up this Star-Spangled Salad to hot and hungry troops and enjoy their sweet salute. Yankee Doodle Dandy!

Star-Spangled Salad

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Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup blueberries rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint or basil
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds if desired
  • Feta Crumbles
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Cook orzo, per package instructions, in vegetable broth instead of water.
  • Drain and rinse briefly with cold water. Allow to drain and cool completely before transferring to large salad bowl.
  • Then, toss orzo with red beans, blueberries and fresh herb.
  • Coat with vinaigrette. Add almonds and feta. Toss until fully mixed.
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