Home » Orzo » Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Olive Time: Mediterranean Salad with Orzo

Black olives were on my mind the other day; I craved their salty goodness. I did a search for recipes and found a watermelon, feta, black olive salad recipe. On the heels of my unusual cantaloupe and watermelon salads recently I thought not. Maybe later this summer when cold salads will be welcome. But melon wasn’t in my mind.  I wanted veggies.

I decided I wanted tomatoes and cucumbers along with the black olives. All I’d need is a zesty vinaigrette and that might satisfy my olive craving in a good way. Eventually I decided to use my “go-to” Mediterranean Orzo Salad recipe that I’d developed a few years ago after having an awesome salad in a restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I usually had all of those ingredients on hand anyway, and I could just double the black olives and really soothe my craving!

Acini di Pepe

Acini di Pepe

I cooked the orzo in salted water until it was al dente, then drained and rinsed it to stop the cooking. I usually use an orzo that is shaped like large pieces of rice, just cuz I like that shape but I was out.

Acini di Pepe

Acini di Pepe

I had acini de pepe on hand, which was tiny tubes of pasta. You could use any small pasta, really.

Peel and dice the cucumbers

Peel and dice the cucumbers

Next I peeled and diced up two medium cucumbers.

Dice 4 or 5 Roma tomatoes

Dice 4 or 5 Roma tomatoes

I also diced 5 medium-sized roma tomatoes and added them to the bowl. I already had a container of thinly sliced green onions, so I added about a ½ cup of those to the bowl.

Dice red peppers

Dice red peppers

Were you waiting for it? Yes, I then diced up a sweet bell pepper, my addiction.  It was a lovely red one this time.  It would be a nice little crunch, as well as perking up the colors of my salad. I almost tossed them into a skillet to put a little roasted brown color and flavoring to them, but decided I wanted the color to stay vivid for my salad.

Dice a large can of black olives

Dice a large can of black olives

Ready for the black olives, I opened up a large can and chopped them roughly, leaving the pieces pretty large. I wanted to know I had an olive in my mouth!

Kalamata olives

Kalamata olives

Then just for the fun of it, I put in a couple of tablespoons of chopped kalamata olives as well. Black olives with even more of a flavor punch!  Even though they look liked chopped liver here in the picture, they are zesty and full of salty goodness.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together

Whisk the dressing ingredients together

I kept the dressing simple. I used 1/4 cup of lime juice and ¼ cup olive oil. I put in a glug of balsamic vinegar, about a tablespoon, and called it done. For spices I added about a half teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cayenne, and a few shakes of black pepper. Ready to taste!

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Excellent! It was simple, with lots of flavor, and just what I was craving. I could have curled up in a corner of the couch on this dark and rainy day, and contentedly eaten my way through the entire bowl. Who needs meat? Well, my P.S. does, so I did have to refrigerate the salad and prepare an actual meat product and a starch to round out the meal. Sigh. I think I was a vegetarian in a former life.  I’d have been happy with the colorful salad in my colorful bowl.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

2 cups orzo, cooked al dente according to directions on package
1 large or 2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 sweet bell pepper, diced (red, yellow or orange)
½ cup diced green onions
large can black olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped
4-5 roma tomatoes, diced
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Crumbled feta for garnish (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Cook the orzo according to directions; drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Put chopped veggies in a large bowl. Whisk oil, lime juice, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne in a separate bowl. Pour over veggies and mix.

Refrigerate or serve immediately with crumbled feta and/or chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.Tiara Logo

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Tell me your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s