Monday, June 27, 2011

Greek Orzo Salad!

I know it's finally summer when the sun and weather prompt me to crave Greek Orzo Salad... it is one of my go-to salads for hot summer days, potlucks, or any other occasion I can use to make it.  It takes a little bit of prep work in the form of chopping, but is so worth it!!

You start with boiling 1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta according to package directions.  I prefer my pasta less al dente, so tend to cook it the full amount of time.  If you like a little bit of extra bite in your pasta salads, cook it a minute or two less than package directions.  Also, I've found that salting my water and making sure it is at a full rolling boil before adding my pasta helps keep the orzo from sticking to itself.  When cooked, drain and rinse in cold water to cool pasta down and stop the cooking process.

While pasta is cooking, start chopping!!  I use:
  • 2 -3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (feel free to use more, I'm not an onion lover so prefer to keep the taste mild!!)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives (you can also use a 2oz can of sliced black olives if you prefer a milder taste, just drain before adding)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Look at that yumminess in a bowl!!

Add your pasta, along with:
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • up to 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I did not have any fresh parsley so I sprinkled just a little bit of the dried stuff - I tend to go light with the dried herbs since I don't like the graininess it adds when eating the salad)

Then make your dressing:
  • 6TB Olive Oil
  • 5TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2TB Lemon Juice
Mix these three together until combined.  You will notice that it almost seems to thicken after stirring a minute or two - this is the sign that it is fully combined!

Pour over salad and mix (I tend to not always use the full amount having 1 - 2TB remaining depending upon how saturated the salad looks).  Refrigerate for at least an hour or even overnight.  The flavors meld together and are so good the longer it sits before eating!

Then just enjoy!!  My kids eat it really well and even my husband eats it (who doesn't care for tomatoes, olives, or cucumbers)!!

Adapted from Greek Orzo Salad Recipe and comments posted on

***************** July 28 Update ********************************

Linked to The Larson Lingo's Summer Salad Swap - Enjoy the salad party!!


mel @ the larson lingo said...

I LOVE orzo!!! This salad looks so good! I am adding it to my menu for this week. Thanks for linking up!

Michele said...

This looks so yummy! It would be perfect on a hot summer day. I'm definitely going to try this before summer is over!