Can you believe it’s officially Autumn / Fall? Last weekend, it was incredibly hot and humid and now all I see are rain clouds. I was left to my own devices that hot weekend and thus left to
fend cook for myself. Looking at what I had around the kitchen, I had the brilliant idea that I wanted an Orzo pasta salad. That being said, I had what looked to be ingredients to make a Greek Salad in my possession. And thus, the recipe for my own Mediterranean Orzo Salad was born!
Please feel free to adjust contents of the dressing or salad as you see fit. However, this dish was an absolute hit at work and at home. I always think it’s best to adjust recipes to taste. If you don’t like something or would rather add more of something, do it! Make it your own.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- 2 cups of Orzo (uncooked)
- 1 of each Red, yellow and orange bell peppers
- 1/2 of an English Cucumber
- 1 package (roughly 15) Cherry tomatoes
- 125g of Feta cheese
- 1/4 cup of Basil (or to taste)
- 4 tbsp of fresh dill chopped up
- 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 2 tsp dried cilantro (optional)
- 1 small shallot (diced)
- 1/2 – 1 jalapeño (with seeds) – diced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
First order of business is to cook the orzo according to the package. It’s approximately a 3:1 or 2:1 ratio of water to orzo generally. (Don’t forget to add some oil to the water!) Cook until tender (just past al dente). Drain the pasta and run cold water over it to cool it down. Once drained, place it in a large metal mixing bowl.
I did this because I then placed my bowl back onto the stove top BESIDE the cooling element. I did not place it on direct heat – it was beside it. This allowed the orzo to dry and the water to evaporate.
For the dressing, squeeze the fresh lemon juice and lime juice into the olive oil. Add in the diced shallot, jalapeño and 2 tbsps of the chopped up dill. Mix in the dried cilantro (optional) and give the dressing a good whisk or shake. Use salt and pepper to taste. The dressing shouldn’t have too much of a bite but still be a bit tart. Let this sit while you prepare the rest. The dill will slowly start to flavour the rest of the dressing – it tastes better over time!
Next, it’s time to chop up all of your veggies. Personally, I cubbed the bell peppers, cucumber and cheese. Then I sliced the basil into stripes and cherry tomatoes into quarters.
Once the orzo is dried and cooled, use a large mixing spoon to mix and make sure no clumps are forming – if they are the orzo is still too wet. Once ready, mix in your chopped up veggies, basil, feta cheese and remaining dill. Add more dill to taste if you’d like. Once everything has been mixed in, slowly add the dressing. Do this to taste. Be sure to mix thoroughly as you go. Everything should be coated but the orzo shouldn’t be soaking in dressing either.
Transfer to a serving bowl and Enjoy!
As mentioned, it is a great light but filling salad that keeps well for up to about 5 days. Though, it didn’t last longer than 2 in my house hold and I doubled the recipe! You also have the option of adding olives or arugula to the salad, however, I didn’t have any to add.
As always, please send me pictures if you decide to recreate this recipe. Or tag me on instagram or twitter @cocomechanel with the hashtag #cocomechanelrecipe.
Until next time,