Monday, August 9, 2010

Orzo Salad

This is a dish that is so simple, and so open to endless variations, that it seems a little silly to write it down as a recipe. But I've been working on orzo salads all summer and they are worthy of a post. You can change pretty much every part of this, but keep the orzo. There's something about its tiny, rice-like shape that makes for the best cold pasta salads. Try it with roasted vegetables off the grill, shrimp, an Italian vinaigrette, raw zucchini sliced very thin, chick peas and Moroccan flavors, just about anything.

Orzo Salad
serves 4 as a main dish

1 pound orzo
about a 1/3 cup olive oil (just enough to keep the orzo from sticking)
juice of 3 lemons
2 chicken breasts (optional)
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut small
1 cucumber, seeded and cut small
1/2 pound feta (I really like feta), crumbled
1 cup plain yogurt (Greek-style with fat works best)
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs, minced (basil, mint, & oregano are my favorite)
1/2 a red onion, cut very very small
salt & pepper
  • Cook the orzo just like regular pasta, but pay attention to your colander. Mine has holes that the orzo fits through so I have to use a mesh strainer. 
  • Toss the orzo with the olive oil and half of the lemon juice. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest.
  • Grill the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, cute into bit-sized pieces, and set aside to cool.
  • When the orzo and chicken are cool toss everything together in a large bowl. 
  • For best results, let it sit for at least an hour before serving. Sometimes I make it a few days ahead, but then I hold out the tomatoes and cucumber until I'm closer to serving it.

1 comment:

  1. Good tip on reserving the cucumber and tomatoes for closer to serving! I love the versatility of this post, too. :) Thanks for the great suggestions.


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