This summery Greek orzo pasta salad with tomatoes and feta will be your go-to side dish for barbecues and is also perfect for picnics and packed lunches.
I debated for ages whether to post the recipe for Greek orzo pasta salad. It’s such an easy recipe that it felt like it didn’t deserve any space on the blog. But I am glad to report I have gotten over myself and decided to post it since it happens to be such a versatile summer side dish. It will happily support BBQ dishes, it’s picnic ready and even a great packed lunch staple.
Basically this is your traditional Greek salad mixed with orzo pasta – simplicity itself. The secret to making a great Greek salad is using the best produce – sun ripened tomatoes still warm from the sun, proper barrel-aged feta and lots of Greek extra virgin olive oil. I must admit that getting these elements right in the UK is not quite that easy – even the best tomatoes lack the flavour you can only get from the Mediterranean sun and the feta is never as tasty.
So I have substituted the traditional vine tomatoes for cherry tomatoes, but left pretty much everything else the same. We have sliced black olives, red onion, cucumber, green pepper and of course olive oil dressing. The orzo pasta needs to be cooked till al dente and then rinsed thoroughly in cold water as it tends to stick quite badly if left to its own devices.
Assemble the salad once the pasta is cold and if you want to turn it into more of a main meal you could add some grilled chicken or shrimp. As for me, I will be making a large batch to serve at our barbecue this weekend – it has been insanely hot these past few days!
- 200g | 7oz orzo pasta
- 200g | 7oz cherry tomatoes, halved
- 150g | 5½ oz feta cheese, cubed
- half a cucumber, seeds removed, cut into cubes
- 1 red onion, sliced thinly
- ½ green pepper, siced thinly
- handful pitted black olives, siced
- handful fresh oregano leaves to garnish
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cook the pasta according to pack instructions until al dente. Rinse thouroughly in cold water, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add a little olive oil and toss together so that it doesn't stick.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber, onion, pepper, and olives and toss to combine.
- Mix the alll the ingredients for the dressing together and then drizzle over the salad.
- Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with a little fresh oregano and either serve immediately or keep chilled until needed.
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