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Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta and Olives Recipe

28 Feb 2024 0 Comments
Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta and Olives Recipe - BargainBoxed.com

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta and Olives Recipe

Dive into the refreshing flavors of the Mediterranean with this vibrant Orzo Salad, dotted with feta cheese and olives, and dressed in a zesty lemon-olive oil vinaigrette. This recipe, perfect for serving two, captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine with its simple yet bold flavors, making it an ideal dish for a light lunch, a picnic, or as a side at dinner. Let’s whisk ourselves away to the sunny Mediterranean coast with this easy-to-follow and deliciously satisfying salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Cooking the Orzo

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente, usually about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Drain the orzo and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside to cool.

Preparing the Vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This zesty vinaigrette will dress your salad with the perfect balance of tangy and savory notes.

Assembling the Salad

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled orzo with halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, finely chopped red onion, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese.
  2. Pour the lemon-olive oil vinaigrette over the salad and toss to ensure everything is evenly coated.
  3. Gently fold in the chopped fresh parsley for a burst of freshness.

Serving

  1. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the salad with more salt and pepper if needed.
  2. This salad can be served immediately or chilled in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  3. Garnish with a sprinkle of feta cheese and a few parsley leaves before serving.

Tips

  • For a gluten-free version, substitute orzo with quinoa or a gluten-free pasta of your choice.
  • To serve one or four people, simply halve or double the ingredients. The preparation method remains unchanged.

Nutritional Information (estimated per serving)

  • Calories: 380
  • Protein: 10g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Fat: 18g

Q&A

Q: Can I add protein to this Mediterranean Orzo Salad? A: Absolutely! Grilled chicken or chickpeas make excellent protein additions to this salad.

Q: How long can I store this salad in the refrigerator? A: This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, it's best enjoyed within the first 24 hours for optimal freshness.

Q: Can I make this salad vegan? A: Yes, simply omit the feta cheese or replace it with a vegan cheese alternative to keep the salad vegan-friendly.


Summary

This Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta and Olives recipe is a delightful celebration of fresh and flavorful ingredients, perfect for any occasion. Whether you're looking for a quick lunch, a picnic dish, or a colorful side, this salad brings the sunny flavors of the Mediterranean straight to your table. Its ease of preparation and versatility make it a surefire hit for any gathering or meal. Enjoy the blend of tangy, savory, and fresh flavors in every bite!

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