Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Greek Orzo Salad

Yay, Spring has Sprung in the District! As the weather gets warmer, I start looking for new ways to spice up salads. Why do I crave salads more in the spring/summer? Well, mostly because I don't have to heat up my kitchen stove to make them, which saves me money on air conditioning/electric, which gives me more money to spend on food! (see, all my life's choices go back to food)

Lately I have been on a Greek kick.  Every time I make a salad, I use a red wine vinaigrette (as opposed to my usual balsamic vinaigrette).  For this orzo salad, I used a mixture of several veggies I had in my fridge, so feel free to change the veggies as your tastes suggest.  As is, this recipe is more of a side dish; however, you can add additional ingredients to make a more filling dish. For example, I added some roasted chicken, feta cheese, and mixed salad greens for a great lunch. As always, let your tastes guide you!

Makes 2 large servings or 4 side servings.

3/4 Cup dry orzo
1 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice (eyeball it)
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t dried dill
1/4 t salt (or to taste)
1/8 t fresh ground pepper (or to taste)
1/2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 small yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 zucchini, chopped
5-6 small Kalamata olives, chopped

  • Cook Orzo. Cook the orzo according to boxed instructions. Once cooked, drain immediately and run cold water over the orzo to stop the cooking.
  • Mix Vinaigrette. Mix olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, and dill in a small bowl with a fork until well combined. Adjust seasonings to taste.  If you want it a bit sweeter, add a touch of sugar or honey.
  • Chop Veggies. Chop all of your veggies and olives.  If you don't want your zucchini to be raw, you can blanch the chopped zucchini by placing them with the orzo in the last minute of cooking. Don't like zucchini? Try an English cucumber instead.
  • Mix Everything Together.  Mix the orzo, veggies, and dressing together in a bowl. This tastes great immediately, but for a stronger flavor, let the salad rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.


  1. I just drooled on my laptop. :)

  2. Thanks Julie! I LOVE this salad. Oh, I forgot to mention that you can make this a vegetarian main dish by adding some canned chickpeas. Let me know if you and Josh try it!