I love orzo. It is a super little pasta shaped like little grains of rice. It is rather versatile, but somehow I usually fix it the same way, simply with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and freshly grated parmesan. It was time to remedy that situation!
The warm weather has FINALLY arrived here. Thank goodness! That means more salads for us. I decided to make an orzo salad. I stuck with my usual lemon flavoring, it just gives it such a light and spring time feeling. I don’t like a pasta salad drowning in dressing.
The flavor is somewhat Greek. I love a good Greek tomato and cucumber salad so I used those as my vegetables. The dill pairs wonderfully with lemon. And what better cheese than feta?! If you can buy a brick of feta and crumble it yourself please do, it just tastes fresher and more moist than pre-crumbled feta. I also added chick peas because let’s face it, I love the added fiber and protein.
This is really versatile. It is good as a side dish or could be a meal by itself. I packed it for the boys to have as their dinner at the gym before swim lessons with leftover grilled Coho salmon in it. It was heavenly! Grilled chicken would also be good. Or change up the herbs, basil or mint would be nice. I used organic whole wheat orzo, but you could certainly use regular too. Play around with the recipe and have fun!
Lemon Orzo Salad with Chick Peas and Feta
1 c. whole wheat orzo pasta, uncooked
1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 English cucumber, chopped
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing:
2 Tbs. olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
Cook the orzo to al dente, drain and add the chick peas. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and pour on the pasta. Add the veggies and cheese. It can be served either warm or cold.
Yields 4-6 servings
I love your photos – light and bright and colourful. And the salad does sound really lovely! I had orzo once about 5 years ago and think it’s about time to try it again 🙂
Definitely try it! Orzo is so easy to make and just a fun shaped pasta!
Great pictures, Gretchen. I love the napkin and the lighting is fantastic. Oh, and what a beautiful recipe. I love whole wheat orzo. 🙂 This recipe would also be nice with garlic and kalamata olives for an extra “Greek” party in your mouth. Thanks for sharing your talents for cooking and photography. 🙂
Thanks Shanna! I certainly enjoy whole wheat orzo too. It was only in the past year or so I have been able to find it around here. It is definitely a summer salad staple around here!
I’ve never come across whole wheat orzo. Will definitely look out for it as I’ve loved orzo since I was little.
My mum used to call them ant eggs (because of their shape) and my sister found that so disgusting that she never wanted to try again 😉
Too funny about the ants! Whole wheat orzo is trickier to find but worth the hunt.
nom nom nom! Salad days are here, yes. (well almost here, guess I’m in for 10″ of snow by week’s end 😦 ) Did your swim lessons finish? Get the mealtime/activity challenge conquered?
Yeah, crazy weather. They are calling for lows on the 30s again next week…the boys have outside school pictures in front of the azaleas at 7:40 AM when it is forecast to be36 degrees! Swim lessons finished last week, but I must be a glutton for punishment because I signed them up for another month! They are making great progress and I didn’t want to lose the momentum. Plus the 6 and 5 hear old boys will be ready for swim team come May! At least those practices fit my schedule…first thing in the morning. Enjoy your warm weather while you have it!
That first photo is awesome..I love it, the colour combinations are excellent. Your photography is at the top of the game….I love the improvement! I also love using the lemon dressing. It’s really nice. You can never go wrong with orzo. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much Liz! When time allows it is nice to attempt to get nice photos. Today I photographed pancakes…not my best but I will post anyway because at least there is an entertaining story/excuse to go along with the photos!
What a great salad! It definitely has a Greek flair to it — and that’s fantastic! I think I’d serve it cold. I love a cold pasta salad and when I’m enjoying one, I know it’s summer. 🙂