Well, my neighbor did me wrong. She offered me a deli prepared Greek Orzo Pasta Salad from Safeway, and I fell in LOVE.
What I don’t love is $8.99 a pound pasta salad. So, I went on a hunt to recreate this salad. Here are the fruits of my labor. Be forewarned, this recipe makes a large amount of salad, but if I’m going into prep mode, I want it to last a few days.
I’ve tried this salad with a jar of kalamata olives & the deli version is far superior & happens to cost less per pound. My first attempt at this salad, I added fresh basil & it was overpowering. I enjoy the smooth saltiness of the rice vinegar coating the pasta, onions & peppers & the basil was too much for me.
You’ll want to prepare the orzo as the box indicates. We use bulk orzo, so we just wing it. About 5 quarts of salted water for 2 cups of dry orzo, boil it about 10 minutes. Once firm & chewy – drain & rinse with cool water. I then place the orzo in a large mixing bowl and drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of rice vinegar to prevent it from sticking together. Have the peppers & onion diced & mixes them into the pasta. Now, it’s time for my favorite part, the kalamata olives. You can drain the olives, but why? The juice is so salty, briny & delicious, so throw it in there along with the olives. I go easy on the rice vinegar to begin with, but at his point taste the pasta and see if it needs a bit more vinegar. Lastly, the feta cheese crumbles can be gently tossed in. I use anywhere from 4-8 ounces. The last time I made it I even forget them and I was 2 bowls in before I noticed. Listed below is the recipe. Enjoy!
Greek Orzo Salad Recipe
2 cups of dry orzo
1 lb of deli kalamata olives
red, yellow & green bell pepper
feta cheese crumbles
Optional: spinach &/or basil
Keep refrigerated in air tight container up to 4-5 days