My aunt, cousin, and I took an overnight trip to the coast last weekend that started with a day of wandering around beautiful Monterey and ended with a Mother’s Day 5K run through the artichoke fields of Castroville. It was quite an adventure.
One of the many highlights of the trip was lunch at the adorable Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove where we sampled a variety of sandwiches and salads. Our favorite was a lightly dressed Greek orzo salad with fresh herbs.
The orzo salad was simple and delicious and I’ve been thinking about orzo ever since. When I saw a bag of organic whole wheat orzo at Whole Foods yesterday I decided it was time to make a Greek orzo salad of my own.
Yields 4 to 6 servings
8 ounces whole wheat orzo pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup grape (or cherry) tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta through a sieve, rinse with cold water, then allow to drain well again. In a large bowl, toss pasta with olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. If made ahead, refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
You might try adding one or more of the following extra ingredients: finely chopped red onion, red bell pepper, artichoke hearts, fresh chopped dill, or grated lemon zest. These types of salads are endlessly adaptable—ingredient amounts can easily be changed to suit your own taste. Taste, adjust, and enjoy!
- Tabbouleh with Persimmons and Almonds
- Tangerine and Jicama Salad with Garlic and Cilantro
- Cilantro Caesar Salad with Carne Asada
- Curry Artichoke Rice Salad
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Raisins
- Orange Cranberry Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Around the Web:
- Spinach and Orzo Salad from Simply Recipes
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad from Andrea’s Recipes
- Curried Orzo Chicken Salad from The Perfect Pantry
- Sesame Orzo Salad from Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill, Feta, and Lemon from Whipped
- Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad from The Kitchen Sink
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