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Orzo, Lentil and Fig Salad

Recipe: Orzo, Lentil and Fig Salad

Summary: Delicious, healthy flavors of the Mediterranean star in this inventive pasta-lentil salad studded with figs and feta. This recipe is great for picnics, make-ahead meals, or brown bag lunches.


  • 8 ounces uncooked Orzo (rice shaped pasta), or the pasta shape of your choice
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils, preferably French or small dark green
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried mission figlets, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled, fat-free feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pignoli nuts (pine nuts)
  • Additional herbs for garnish (basil)


  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, about 9 minutes.
  2. Cook lentils in 3 cups water until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Make dressing: Place balsamic vinegar in bowl. Add garlic, oregano, basil, a pinch of sea salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Set aside.
  4. Mix orzo, lentils, olives, figs, cheese, and nuts together in a large bowl. Add dressing and stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.


“The Stress Free Diabetes Kitchen,” by Barbara Seelig-Brown (2012; American Diabetes Association; $18.95). Recipe and photo reprinted with permission.

Exchanges / Choices

2 Starch
1 Fruit
1 Lean Meat
3 Fat
Calories 395
Calories from Fat 180
Total Fat 20.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 435 mg
Potassium 415 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 13 g
Phosphorus 250 mg

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: USA (Nouveau)

If you, like me, want to include more healthy recipes and meals, you’ve come to the right place. The American Diabetes Association has launched #30DaysofFamilyHealth all this month, and 12 food writers, including me, are participating. Go to Kitchen PLAY [1] to see all of our healthy and delicious recipes, and you can shop for this and other ADA books here [2]. Discount: Shockingly Delicious readers get a 25% discount off all books in the ADA online store with the code KITCHEN2013, through Oct. 4, 2013.

Giveaway!: In addition, the ADA is hosting a fabulous giveaway on the Kitchen PLAY Facebook page [3] in conjunction with #30DaysofFamilyHealth. Five winners will receive their choice of three of the five cookbooks involved in the series plus a $50 Visa gift card. (Hint: this is a fun puzzle promo, where both the ADA and KP pages must be “liked” to reveal the prizes.)

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.