This Fresh Summer Orzo Salad is not only for the summer time, it is also great to pack for lunches and a refreshing side dish to enjoy all year long.
Summer time, when we magically forget about what winter frost feels like. Sort of lol, we all secretly fear that the next winter will be here before we know it, but for now we wear our denial hats. Denying that winter will one day be back in full force is one way we get through. Otherwise, that depression that comes with dreaded cold gloomy months would never end. This summer orzo salad is one of those dishes that can make us forget all about hot chocolate and soup, for now. Its a light, fresh, simple and flavorful side to any summer meal.
The dressing for this orzo salad is my favorite compared to all the others I’ve tried in the past. Organic Red Wine & Olive Oil Vinaigrette, another one of my Trader Joe’s favorite find. This dressing plus freshly squeezed lemon juice flavors the pasta salad to perfection. I suggest making this dish ahead of time, pouring extra dressing and letting it soak into the pasta over night. Add cucumber, tomato and feta cheese for a wonderful texture and taste. You can always add black olives, I’m just not a big fan so I do not. I seasoned the dish with Urban Accents Herb & Sea Salt Corn Cob Seasoning from Crate and Barrel which was wonderful, but you can also use any lemon pepper seasoning.
- 2 cups of dry orzo( I prefer to use a larger orzo for this salad)
- 1 seedless cucumber
- 1 large container of cherry or grape tomatoes(or two small containers)
- 8 ounces of crumble feta (or more if you like feta)
- 2.5 teaspoons of lemon pepper seasoning or herb and sea salt(from Crate and Barrel)
- Juice of 1.5 lemons
- 1 bottle of Red Wine & Olive oil Vinaigrette
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook orzo according to package and set aside to cool
- Peel and chop cucumber into very small pieces
- Cut tomatoes into 2 or three small pieces
- Once orzo has cooled mix together the orzo, seasoning, tomato, cucumber, dressing, lemon juice and about ¾ the bottle of vinaigrette (looks soupy at this point but as it sits the pasta absorbs a lot of the liquid)
- Suggestion: refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours preferably over night
- Important: reserve a small amount of vinaigrette dressing(1/4 bottle) for the following day and add more dressing before serving
- Adjust salt or pepper if needed and serve cold