Let’s get the elephant in the room out immediately, shall we? You might be asking what is Orzo pasta? I asked the same thing the first time I saw this recipe. First of all, Orzo is a type of pasta that is shape like rice. In Italian, it means Barley, that you might be familiar with. Sometimes, it is also called as “Big Rice”, because it does look like big grain of rice. It can be served on its own or mixed in with soup or salad just like this one. You can buy this in the aisle as other Pasta like Spaghetti , fettuccine etc. So, go get them and let’s make this salad.
As you can see, all ingredients are fresh, and that is one thing that I love about this salad. This salad is also more filling than the other salad because of the Orzo. This is really a real meal when paired with meat dishes, not just a side salad that you eat before the main meal. Although you can also eat it on its own.
This is one salad that is really a keeper for me. The best thing about this is it is very easy to prepare. This is a one bowl mixing salad recipe that you can whip in just few minutes, especially for busy days. I will not keep this any longer, let’s get started!
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used between 1/4 – 1/2 tsp fine salt, then 1/4 tsp black pepper)
- 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
Note : You can also use store-bought Balsamic dressing, but I do encourage you to try this one first. It really taste nice with this pasta.
- 1/3 cup dry Orzo – If you cannot find Orzo, substitute it with any Shell Pasta or Penne Pasta
- 1/4 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 1/3 cup English cucumber, diced
- 1/3 cup Grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup sliced kalamata or black olives
- 1 tbsp chopped red onion, rinsed under water to removed harsh bite
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- In a jar or small glass, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, basil 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 (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 at least 30 minutes to allow the dressing to be absorbed. Serve within a few hours for best results.
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Try it and let me know how it goes. Feel free to share this recipe and let’s get the community into healthy eating!♥