Anyone else craving summer yet?? It’s always just about this time of year when I’m always ready for the warm beach days and sunny afternoon picnics to be here again. So what’s a woman to do? Make a summery dinner and pretend it’s the middle of July. Really though this Greek Orzo Salad is perfect to make year round (as long as you can find good fresh produce at the grocery store, I know sometimes those tomatoes can be looking pretty drab) and it goes perfectly with grilled chicken. It’s a healthy and filling veggie packed side dish, and of course if you want to make it even healthier you could go with a whole wheat or high fiber orzo. I opted to add half kalamata and half black olives because I’m slowly trying to break my kids into liking the kalamatas, but I actually ended up loving the blend of the two anyway so I might just do it this way every time. Even though this does call for quite a few ingredients it really is easy to throw together, it’s mostly just a lot of chopping and a bit of crumbling (oh how I love that feta!). It does goes pretty quick and the end result is so worth it! I wish I had this waiting for me at my dinner table ever night! It’s so fresh and so flavorful and I can never get enough of those Greek flavors. I hope you love it too!
Greek Orzo Salad
Yield: About 6 servings
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups (8 oz) dry orzo
- 1 cup (5 oz) crumbled feta
- 1 medium English cucumber , diced
- 1 (10.5 oz) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives or 3/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion , rinsed under water to removed harsh bite
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a jar mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste (don't add too much salt because the feta and kalamata olives are pretty salty), set aside.
Cook orzo according to directions listed on package. Drain and let cool (about 5 minutes. They'll start to stick to each other a bit but that's fine the dressing will break it up).
Add all of the salad ingredients, including cooked orzo, to a large bowl and toss. Pour dressing over top and toss to evenly coat. Store in refrigerator, serve within a few hours for best results.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy