Last of the summer salads – Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing

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My post’s title today is taken from the largest running sitcom in the world called “Last of the Summer Wine” – it’s British you know and pretty hilarious if you haven’t watched it.  It is about a trio of old men and their youthful misadventures.  It was filmed in West Yorkshire in England, so you can well imagine the gorgeous scenery.  Anyway, what does this have to do with my salad?  Absolutely nothing, except I thought it would be a good title for today’s post.  🙂

We’ve been hit by sweltering heat these past few weeks here in the mid-Atlantic states.  I’m doing my happy dance because the awful heat and humidity is predicted to drop by tomorrow.  I’m ready for cooler Fall temperatures.  I think I’ve just about had enough of 90+ degree weather in September!  It’s not fun let me tell you.  How about those poor tennis players at the US Open?  I’ve enjoyed watching the matches, but cannot even begin to fathom how tough it has been for all the players.  Ice breaks and heat rules were imperative as the week went along.

This salad can be a tad time consuming if you make it from scratch, but if you have any leftover rotisserie chicken, it will come together in no time.  I just added some poultry seasonings together with fresh thyme, salt and pepper and popped it in the oven.  The best part? I absolutely love the avocado-lime dressing, wait till you read the ingredients, it’s what makes this salad POP in your mouth – I’ve been eating it by the spoonful 🙂

Orzo, sweet corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, shredded chicken, fresh basil and crumbled feta cheese being assembled.

Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1 small avocado, seeded, peeled and cut up
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. To prepare salad – In a medium saucepan, cook orzo according to package directions, adding corn during the last 1 minute of cooking.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water to cool quickly, drain well.  In a large bowl, combine orzo mixture, chicken, tomatoes and fresh basil.  Sprinkle with feta cheese.  Cover and chill.
  2. Meanwhile prepare dressing.  In a blender or food processor, combine 1 small avocado, seeded, peeled and cut up; 1/3 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel; 1/4 cup lime juice; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Cover and blend or process until smooth.  Transfer dressing to a small bowl.  Cover and chill.
  3. To serve, drizzle with salad dressing.

Recipe adapted from: EatingWell.com

17 Replies to “Last of the summer salads – Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing”

    1. What a lovely surprise to find you here Susan – I’m honored 🙂 Glad you have everything on hand to try the salad – you don’t really need fresh thyme, you can definitely use dried. I just happened to have purchased a bunch that day. Of course you can always have Bert and myself over for a taste test 🙂 See you soon.

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  1. All the way from Australia – well. I stopped at Ron’s in Sweden : ! Spring is a’springing here and I am one to devour a good salad at any time of the year anyways !! This suits just fine . . . just as does from where you write . . .

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    1. Welcome to my blog! Glad to hear that spring has sprung in your corner of the world. Whereabouts in Australia are you? We are almost transitioning into Fall weather over here, so this salad was definitely welcome especially as it was still awfully hot all of last week.

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  2. Such a colorful and healthy salad Loretta using so many of summer’s favorite ingredients. I like the way you showed all the ingredients separately in the bowl and then mixed together. I could make this today except for the avocado – they just don’t keep. I use to get Eating Well and maybe I should subscribe again! I’ve never watched the British show you are talking about but it sounds like I would enjoy it 🙂

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    1. Thanks Judi. I love the Eating Well website, so many healthy and nutritious meals to try and replicate. I know what you mean about avocados, I usually buy them and they are pretty hard, somehow it does ripen up pretty fast when I leave them in the fruit bowl, so I plan accordingly. Also, a trick to leave one half without it turning black in the refrigerator, is to leave it with the seed intact and use the outer shell of the over to cover it, I usually use one half at a time, and it stays pretty green. Of course, squeezing lime or lemon will prevent it from turning black too.

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      1. I just looked at eatingwell’s website and ordered the magazine sub again. Also signed up for the emails. I didn’t realize they had so many cookbooks which I will think about for now. Thanks for reminding me how much I did enjoy this magazine. Thanks for the avocado tip 🙂

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  3. I can’t speak for others, but I could eat your Orzo Chicken Salad right on into the fall. That Avocado-Lime Dressing sounds great, it must have a lovely color and a tangy, spicy smooth taste. Can’t wait to try.
    As for the title “Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing”, perfect! And, here in Sweden “Last of the Summer Wine” remains popular even now. My fav character was Compo.

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    1. Thanks Ron, you’re absolutely spot on, this is not just a summer salad, it could be enjoyed well into the Fall weather. Oh, great to hear that the show is still popular now. I’m sure if I tried to get it on Netflix it will be there, I just adore all those old guys, such characters each and every one of them 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. I’ve signed up for notifications from your space 🙂

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  4. I love to have salads even if they are time consuming to make. I am cleaning out my garden beds this week and will be making something interesting with cherry tomatoes. Enjoy your sty in Spain.

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