Day 261: Orzo Pasta Salad

Perfect combo: long day at work and pre-prepared pasta salad.

I cooked and prepped this salad yesterday to take the hassle out of Monday morning.

Well, hassle as far as lunch is concerned.

My Monday morning consisted of: Number One Daughter left her bus pass in her coat pocket at dancing on Thursday night so the driver warned her she wouldn’t be able to get on the bus without it, so I hastily scribbled her a note as she ran out of the door; the milk had leaked ALL over the fridge and I spent 20 minutes mopping it up and taking the shelves out to clean, not realising the bottle actually had a hole in it when I put it back in the fridge for it to repeat it’s performance; I made three school lunches (despite the biggest boy having left his lunch bag at school on Friday); the smallest boy went into meltdown when he realised it was pre-school and screamed the place down, so we left harbouring terrible parental guilt and feelings of neglecting him; and Mathilde… Mathilde was Mathilde… She managed to contain the blood-curdling screams for once as I brushed her hair today but spent the rest of the morning cocooned in her own little cloud, oblivious of everyone and everything, ignoring anything she was asked to do: cue massive argument on way to school about behaviour, lack of respect, etc. And that was all BEFORE I even started work!

But my lunch was made. Happy Monday!


  • 100g orzo pasta
  • 1 x red pepper, diced
  • 1 x courgette, diced
  • 1-2 shallots
  • Half a block of halloumi (approx. 100g), cubed
  • Handful of pine nuts
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Splash of white wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Basil leaves, torn or finely chopped

Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and halloumi in an oven proof tray and roast for 25 minutes at 200C.

Cook the pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes, drain and pour over a good glug of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.

Mix the pasta and roasted veg together in a large bowl, add a splash of white wine vinegar, extra olive oil if necessary and the lemon juice.  Stir through the pine nuts and the shredded basil.

Serve on a bed of rocket leaves with sliced avocado.

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