This Vegan Orzo Salad is perfect as a side, main course, or for meal prep. Incredibly versatile, you can personalize this salad to include all the ingredients you love.
For the cashew cream:
1/2 cup soaked cashews
1 cup of water
pinch of sea salt
For the orzo:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
2 medium-sized zucchini, grated
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 –1 cup cashew cream
1 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper
1 cup vegan parmesan, grated
1–3 tbsp. lemon depending on how much you love lemon
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Prepare the cashew cream by adding the 3 ingredients to a high-speed blender and blending till well combined. If you prefer your cream a bit thicker, add more water. If you prefer your cream a bit runnier, add more water.
To a medium-sized or large pot your olive oil and heat for 3o seconds before adding in the onion and garlic. Cook on low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until translucent and fragrant.
To the pot, add the orzo and let the pasta become well coated by the onion/garlic oil fragrance/flavors. Now add in the fresh herbs and grated zucchini. Cook down for 1-2 minutes and then go in with your optional white wine to deglaze the pot. Stir the base aggressively to remove any browning from the base of the pot. Cook down on medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated.
Increase the heat to high and go ahead and add in the vegetable stock. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 3 minutes before adding in the cashew cream, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer with the lid on till the orzo is cooked. I like my orzo al-dente so this may only take another 4-5 minutes, so watch it closely. It will be cooked when the orzo has soaked up all the liquid or when the texture of the orzo is what you want. *
Once cooked, add the parmesan, lemon and pine nuts!
Serve with more fresh herbs and a small drizzling of olive oil.
If you want your orzo a bit more creamy, add 1 tbsp of vegetable at a time towards the end of the cooking process (when simmering) and continue to do so until your desired consistency is achieved.
Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week. Will last in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Keywords: vegan, easy, recipe, pot, instant