Monday, March 24, 2014

Greek Orzo Salad

Recently our family was invited to a party over at a friend's house. When I asked my kids for suggestions about what to make, they immediately said "Rice Krispie Treats"!!! Of course I should have known better than to ask! Ha Ha I agreed to make a pan of Rice Krispie Treats to keep the kids happy but I knew that I was craving something else a little more unique as a side dish. 
Always wanting to try something new, the first thing I thought of was a Greek flavored pasta or salad. Trying to keep it simple, I made a quick trip to the commissary to pick up a bottle of Greek Salad dressing and a few other items…unfortunately they did not have any type of Greek dressing available. So I decided to look up a greek dressing recipe online. The recipe I found was perfect with only a few basic ingredients to make the Greek flavored sauce. 

Greek Orzo Salad

adapted from
Perfect Greek Orzo Salad at website

1 pound Orzo pasta
8 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1 large cucumber, peeled & diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup small red onion, finely diced
6 tablespoons parsley, well chopped

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook orzo as directed on the package.  Drain and rinse with water to cool.  In a large bowl, combine feta cheese, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and parsley; mix in cooled orzo.  Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and then pour over orzo salad. Mix well to combine. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving.

I wish you could taste the yummy explosion of flavors in this pasta dish! The tartness of red wine vinegar with the bite of Feta cheese and red onion along with the smooth cool blend of orzo pasta and cucumbers.… good! You could easily substitute your favorite pasta (rotini, penne, etc) in place of the orzo. This recipe can also be adapted to your tastes by increasing or decreasing the amount of veggies…or even adding a meat such as chopped chicken or sliced pepperoni.  Whatever you choose, this Greek Orzo Salad recipe is the perfect unique side dish. Keep this recipe in mind for the upcoming warmer months when you need a cool side dish for a BBQ or potluck! 

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