No, that's not rice — it's orzo, a Mediterranean pasta that resembles rice. It cooks up quickly and absorbs vinaigrette while keeping its shape like no other, making it ideal for outdoor parties and picnics. This recipe calls for a variety of Mediterranean-influenced ingredients: fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives. Take one bite, and it's almost like you're vacationing on a Grecian isle, almost.
Mediterranean-style pasta salad has quickly become one of my picnic staples. It's easy to make a huge batch, and it tastes better after the flavors have mixed for a few hours. Be sure to make a large batch, because this salad is an ideal portable lunch.
1 pound orzo
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 small jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- Fill a large pot with water, season liberally with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain well, and rinse with cold water until the orzo is cool.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and shallot. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a big bowl, combine the orzo with the tomatoes, olives, green onions, and fresh herbs. Toss with vinaigrette. Season the salad generously with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Marinate for several hours in the fridge. Before serving, toss well and carefully fold in feta.
- Pasta/Noodle, Side Dishes, Salads
- Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
- Serves 10-12