Sunday, June 16, 2013

Greek Orzo Salad

One of my favorite shows and cooks is the Barefoot Contessa. I had some free time the other day and she just happened to be on tv. Her summer orzo salad called to me through the tv. Hers was made with roasted shrimp, such a quick and easy way to cook them. However, I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit for my taste and what was in the house. It is nice and refreshing cool, flavorful salad that is perfect for these hot summer days and leftovers can be taken to work the next day since flavors merry even more with time.

Greek Orzo Salad
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Serves: 6

Kosher salt
Good olive oil
3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced

3/4 pound good feta cheese, large diced
8 pitted kalamata olives, chopped

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 Tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the orzo. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving. 

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