Thursday, April 21, 2011

Summer Orzo Salad

Hello Summer!  For those that are still fighting snow drifts and having trouble breaking 50 degrees. Welcome to Florida.  Except for the summer gardens that are exploding, we are already over the heat, and its not even summer yet.

This pasta salad made with orzo is one of my favorite summer cold salads.  I have been making it for family and friends, for what seems like forever, and it has never disappointed me.

During the summer months a good fresh salad means that your meal is never far from the table.


Summer Orzo Salad
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
1 cup orzo
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1- 14 ounce can artichoke hearts (not packed in oil), drained
1-14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cups chopped vine ripened tomatoes (about 2 large)

Directions:
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool.  Press to remove excess water.  Transfer to a large bowl and toss with olive oil.

With a chef's knife, mash garlic and salt into a paste.  Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in lemon juice and pepper.  Set the dressing aside.

Gently squeeze excess moisture from artichoke hearts, and cut length-wise into eighths.  Add to orzo along with chickpeas, onion, olives, feta, dill, mint and reserved dressing.  Toss gently to combine.

Add tomatoes and toss again.

Enjoy!

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56 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I love chickpeas so I know I will like this. Diane

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a refreshing salad Velva. I'm crazy about orzo. So easy and different from other pastas or rice.
Sam

From the Kitchen said...

I've just filed this under "if summer ever comes" recipes!! Looks delicious!

Best,
Bonnie

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds perfect for warmer weather, love the dill-enjoy:@)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love orzo so much, and that fact that I could keep most of these ingredients on hand in the pantry makes this a go-to salad for relaxed summer meals. Bring it on!

The Japanese Redneck said...

I really like orzo too. Looks devine.

LaDivaCucina said...

Yum yum, I love the Mediterranean flavors of this, Velva! I also think the rice shape of the noodle holds up really well in a pasta salad. This salad seems hearty enough as a stand alone but would go great with grilled chicken and balsamic glaze. Divine!

Big Dude said...

Looks delicious Velva and I believe we'll have it tonight with our chicken - different take on pasta salad and we love the greek flavors.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Literally my favorite flavors together in here. Dill, kalamata, tomatoes...swoon. This is summer! And for those still in snow a bit of encouragement for what's to come.

Parsley Sage said...

Perfect summer food! And I've got all these tasty ingredients in the fridge right now...I'm thinking this would be a lovely Happy Thursday lunch :)

Anncoo said...

Beautiful salad and looks so delicious..yummy :)

tasteofbeirut said...

This salad is making my mouth water and I long for the summer, pool days and eating this salad!

Red Couch Recipes said...

I also love orzo and this is a different salad that I am used to making. The "Greek" ingredients sound delicious in it. I am intrigued that there is both dill and mint. Joni

That Girl said...

Orzo definitely feels like a summer pasta to me.

rosaria said...

Now, why didn't I think of that? Lovely.

Heavenly Housewife said...

I am just looking at the ingredients and imagining the taste... and it tastes yummy!
*kisses* HH

Mimi said...

Love the ingredients, so perfect for the warm days ahead.
Mimi

Chef E said...

HELLO! Time for Orzo in my house...

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Love everything that is in your salad, it looks delicious!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Orzo is such a wonderful little pasta. It has a unique texture that I love. This looks delicious.

Healthy Mamma said...

love, love, love this orzo! I'm putting this on the top of my menu for next week!
P.S.
Please stop by my blog, Simply Healthy Family to enter to win a set of curtains {made from 100% recycled material} in honor of Earth Day.
Happy Day!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

lovely salad love orzo :-0

teresa said...

so tangy and delicious, this looks great!

Cooking Gallery said...

Beautiful salad, Velva! And the ingredients sound delicious! Have a great Easter break :).

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Hi Velva, What a fabulous blog you have! Your orzo salad looks super! I mostly use orzo in soups and it's high time I make salad with it too. I will definitely try your delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing and visiting my kitchen. Cheers!!!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

This is the best looking orzo salad I've ever seen and it's a keeper! Thank you for this recipe! Have a wonderful weekend!

We Are Not Martha said...

One of my very favorite things about summer is that I crave salads so much. This one looks fabulous :)

Sues

grace said...

what a perfect pasta salad, velva! i love your herbs, i love the feta, and i love all the greek-y components. bravo!

Bizzy said...

Great salad. Orzo is a winner and so are you.

Michael Toa said...

I love orzo salad. This salad you created is so refreshing and I adore the colours.
Have a nice day.

Beth said...

Looks like a great salad. Right now we're halfway between the snow and the heat of summer!

Maureen said...

What a beautiful salad. You could cook for me anytime. :)

Lea Ann said...

I most certainly would eat this while sitting in a snow drift. Looks delicious.

Rita said...

I love orzo and so happy to have found a new recipe to add to my collection. I would love to know what was that fruit on your Wordless Wednesday.
Rita

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I would be one of those living where it just doesn't want to break 50 degrees so I am longing for warm-weather recipes to make. I do have a favorite orzo salad but love the addition of the kalamata olives and dill in your recipe. Definitely worth trying!

The Rambling Tart said...

Mmm, I love all these ingredients but that fresh mint is a splendid addition. :-)

Joanne said...

I am so jealous of your summer weather! It's still pretty cold here. Perhaps I'll just wrap myself in a blanket, make this, and pretend it's summer.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delightful salad! I love all those ingredients.

Cheers,

Rosa

Victor said...

I'm a big fan of orzo, looks so refreshing!

Martha (MM) said...

What a yummy springtime treat. It looks delicious!

Maria said...

Such a gorgeously aromatic and tasty dish! This sounds delicious!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

What a light refreshing and healthy salad

a-man said...

Delicate recipe! Thank you.
Happy Easter!

Eva said...

Mmmm, that sounds delicious! All of the ingredients are wonderful, too. Hope you're having a great Easter :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm in NJ and we moved right into summer today too. I actually ate a chickpea salad for lunch today and I love the idea of the orzo.

Faith said...

Great looking salad! In the warmer months this would make a fantastic meal...send some of your gorgeous Florida weather up north, Velva! ;)

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

What a gorgeous and healthful salad... loaded with my favorite flavors, too! I'm definitely bookmarking this one. Thanks for sharing Velva! ox

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Yum! I wish it was warm enough in NY to think summer...

Katerina said...

Especially during warm months of the year, salads are the ideal light meals the body wants. This one looks perfect and mouthwatering!

Abbey said...

I love pasta salads like this..I could eat an entire bowl! I don't use a lot of dill, but it sounds so great in this recipe-thanks!

Barbara said...

Marvelous, Velva. I was scanning down the ingredients and just knew feta was going to be in there. That makes it perfect!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Beautiful orzo salad! Love all the ingredients!!! Colors are just perfect too!

5 Star Foodie said...

A terrific orzo salad, loving all the delicious Mediterrenean flavors here!

gillyflower said...

That looks good! I have some orzo in the cupboard and a vegetarian daughter who loves it, so we're going to try this out for sure!
Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!
Gill

Reeni said...

I love all the delicious flavors you included! Salads like this are a staple for me during the summer!

Eliana said...

Hmm - I wish summer would hurry up and get to NYC already. Although I think I can enjoy this salad any time of year.

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