Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Orzo Salad

I've had many (many, many, many) requests over the past few years for this simple recipe so I finally made a point to photograph it the last time I made it!  I can't take the credit for it though as I was taught to make it by my friend April who found it in a newlywed cookbook she was gifted at her wedding!

I bring this to any gathering where lots of folks will be eating - international lunches, family get-togethers, housewarming parties (where this one went to!), holiday functions...the list goes on!  It's affordable, healthy and feeds an army so in my book, it's a keeper!
You'll need:
1 package of orzo (which is a rice-like pasta)
1 green pepper 
1 red onion
1 container of crumbled feta cheese (whatever size you want- I like lots so I buy the bigger tub :)
fresh basil
pine nuts (if you can find them!  I looked at two stores and couldn't locate any this time)
1 can chopped olives (I always go with a small can as a little goes a loooooong way)
Golden raisins (optional and not in this batch)

And for the sauce, you'll need:
olive oil
lemon juice
First, boil some water and get that orzo a-cooking!  I cook mine for 8-10 minutes.  You want it just barely done.

While the orzo is cooking, get to chopping!  Dice that pepper, onion and basil and dump them in a bowl together.  I use the entire onion and bell pepper but feel free to just use half if you're not as big of a fan of them.  The smaller the pieces, the better.  Add in the feta and black olives and mix everything together.

If you were able to find pine nuts (be aware that they're a little pricey but soooooo good), go ahead and toast them in a small skillet.  You want them to get golden brown.  After toasting them, mix into this mixture.
In another medium-sized bowl, prepare your sauce.  In the last picture here, you'll see my actual recipe card with the measurements I was given...I rarely use them though :)  I do use about a cup of olive oil but everything else I just throw in until the smells are just right :)  You'll mix together the oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, oregano and garlic here.  Then take a big whiff :)
By this point, your orzo should be done cooking.  DO NOT RINSE THE ORZO.  You want it to still be warm when you mix it with the sauce so it will absorb it.  Mix the two together and let them sit for a while to cool off.  I was in a super hurry to get this made and out the door so I didn't let it cool as long as I should have.  Didn't make too much of a difference in my opinion though :)
After letting the orzo cool (or not), mix your two bowls together!  I used the fanciest bowl I own to display this to you!  Ok, that's a blatant lie obviously.  I threw it all in a giant tupperware bowl and off to the party I went!  I LOVE eating it when the orzo is still warm but some people like it better after it has sat in the fridge for a day.  You can add all sorts of things to jazz it up if you like.  In fact, the original recipe calls for golden raisins which I will add from time to time.  
And like I mentioned above, here's the recipe card if you'd like exact measurements like a normal person would ;)

1 comment:

  1. This looks so delicious, I want this RIGHT NOW I can almost smell it.


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