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