As food phases go, orzo and I are pretty tight right now. It started innocently enough with the spinach and feta orzo at Whole Foods. I’d grab some from the prepared food section and enjoy a little with my salad at lunch. Then I’d have some with my grilled chicken at dinner. I’d even add a bit to a breakfast omelet on the weekends.
I’m eating some right now as I write this post. Don’t judge.
Once farmers market season began I decided it would be just as easy to make my own. This dish is light, simple and perfect for a hot Summer evening when you don’t feel like turning the oven on. It’s great for a barbecue or picnic as it doesn’t contain mayonnaise and can be served room temperature. As with most pasta salads, the ingredients are almost limitless – consider adding cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, scallions, chives, parsley or pine nuts. Feel free to add extra items from your garden or your farm CSA. It pairs well with burgers or salmon or try it for Meatless Monday tomorrow!
Greek Orzo Salad
Adapted from Rustic Garden Bistro
1 lb orzo pasta, cooked
2 tbsps olive oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, cut in half
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup mild microgreens
1 tbsp capers
16 large basil leaves, chopped
1/3 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
8 oz block of feta cheese in brine, chopped into small cubes
Salt and pepper, to taste (start with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and add from there – you won’t need too much because of the olives, capers and feta)
Prepare orzo according to package directions. Immediately after draining orzo, rinse orzo in the colander for 15 seconds with cold water (removing extra starch). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir to prevent the orzo from sticking together. Allow orzo to sit in colander for about 15 minutes.
While the orzo cools, chop red onion, kalamata olives, red bell pepper, sundried tomatoes and basil leaves. Combine together in a large serving bowl.
Pour orzo into the same large serving bowl and add tablespoon of olive oil, vinegar, capers, microgreens, feta, salt and pepper.
Stir to combine. Can be served immediately and will keep in the refrigerator for several days.