Orzo is a tiny oval shaped pasta that can be served hot or cold and it’s especially delicious eaten as a side dish, but also terrific when tossed with seasonal vegetables. Orzo makes a great salad because it soaks up the other flavors in the bowl, and it isn’t heavy like other shaped pasta, it’s delicate and creamy.
When you think of Mediterranean food it usually involves cucumbers of some sort. Cucumbers, those water base vegetables with a soft seeded center, are nice tossed with olives and lemon zest for a tangy touch. The crunchy cukes come alive in this orzo salad and make it a flavorful addition to your summertime meals.
I think this salad is the perfect picnic dish because it stores nicely, and can be served with all sorts of grilled meat, chicken, or with sandwiches, and other salads. It would be divine for a ladies luncheon because it’s light, but hardy enough to feel satisfied, and it makes a great side dish at dinnertime.
1 cup orzo pasta
4 Persian cucumbers, sliced
1 cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1. Boil orzo for 8 minutes, drain. In a jar with fitted lid, add all vinaigrette ingredients, shake.
2. In a large bowl, add orzo and 1/2 of vinaigrette, toss with spoon.
3. Add cucumbers, olives and Parmesan cheese, toss. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, toss.
4. Add parsley and remaining vinaigrette, toss. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!