Up until a few years ago, I had never tried orzo. It is an Italian short cut pasta shaped like a grain of rice. Orzo is the star of this fresh, simple, and filling Mediterranean inspired salad. You can add a protein to make it more balanced meal, but I prefer it as a big side dish. This is a great recipe for the summertime or if you're looking for easy meal prep. This dish it also tastes just as good warmed up as it does chilled! You can substitute feta for mozzarella cheese and add olives if you want more of a Mediterranean flavor.
1 16 oz. package orzo
1 1/2 cup tomatoes 🍅(I prefer sweet cherry tomatoes, sliced in half)
3 stalks green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons washed capers
8 oz. feta cheese or Mozzarella
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon 🍋
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic 🧄, minced
5 Persian (or 2 english) cucumbers 🥒 chopped into quarters
3 tablespoons dill plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons parsley plus more for garnish
Bring salted water to a rolling boil at medium high heat, then follow orzo cooking instructions. Once finished cooking, drain the orzo but do not rinse it with water. Move orzo to a bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil. Let cool in the lemon oil for 20 minutes to help infuse the flavor.
Add all ingredients and mix. Enjoy!