Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orzo Salad is Best Served Cold. Like Revenge.

While our grilled London broil was quite tasty with a side of LeBron revenge, we also enjoyed it with a cold orzo salad.  My mother-in-law makes a very delicious orzo salad, and she served as my inspiration when I whipped this up over the weekend.

Orzo is Italian for barley.  Also known as risoni (big rice), it is a form of pasta in the shape of a grain of rice.  I like orzo because it is a versatile pasta that can be served hot or cold, with a sauce, in a soup, casserole, pilaf, or salad, like I mentioned.  While it was originally made from barley, orzo is now made with durum semolina wheat, as especially hard variety of wheat.   Pasta made with durum wheat is more resilient through the cooking process, and won't easily become mushy, even after being baked or simmered in broth.  I used a plain variety of orzo, but you can also find varieties colored or flavored with vegetables, like spinach.

I don't think I tasted orzo until adulthood.  It wasn't unfamiliar to me, but I just cannot recall ever eating it until my twenties.  Too bad for me.

I encourage you not to wait too long before trying it out for yourself.

Orzo Salad
Serves plenty

1 lb dried orzo (plain or flavored will work)
1 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil
4 - 8 oz feta cheese (depending on your preference)

Cook orzo according to package directions.  Drain and mix with chopped veggies and herbs.

Whisk together lemon juice, salt and pepper, dried oregano, and olive oil to create dressing.  Drizzle it over pasta and vegetables and lightly mix.

Add feta cheese and lightly mix.


  1. I'm still laughing over your Lebron post (I'm an indifferent Wizards fan), but had to stop by and leave a comment for this recipe. Looks delicious and I love the idea of adding olives. Yum!

  2. Thanks, we had a lot of fun with it!