If you saw Ole’s Greek burger post, you may have been left wondering what kind of summer salad you’d pair that with. (I know you were.) It’s not like a regular, ol’ creamy coleslaw would do the trick there. And something about putting tzatziki sauce on your burger doesn’t scream potato salad. It screams pasta salad, naturally. THIS pasta salad. Or something.
I was thinking the other day that this would have really looked nice with halved cherry tomatoes and, while sweeter, they would have complimented the salty feta. Feel free to substitute. I, however, did not substitute because, well, I had tomatoes in the fridge, and I’m all about using what I have, even when it’s a salad that’s coming to two 4th of July picnics. I hope you don’t mind.
I decided that teeny, tiny orzo pasta was definitely a must here. Why, you ask? Contrast to the chunky vegetables. Living life on the edge. Adventure. Because I wanted to.
After cooking your pasta, give it a good rinse with cold water, place it in a container and stick it in the fridge to cool down while you get everything else ready.
Now, you may ask yourself why thinly slice the peppers and the onions instead of dicing them like everything else? (At least Ole did.) Again, contrast.
And some of my favorite cheese. Did you know that most varieties of feta sold in the U.S. are actually made from cow’s milk and not sheep’s milk? It’s true. Oh so very true.
Add the kalamata olives in there too. See all that contrast? Pretty, isn’t it? Totally worth it.
For the dressing we’re looking at equal parts extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Glug, glug, glug.
Joining the party will be oregano, basil, salt and pepper. I decided on dry herbs here for the even distribution in the dressing, but you could use fresh, just double the amount.
Now, your pasta should be close to cool by now. Mix it in with your vegetables.
Add your dressing and give it a stir.
And enjoy with your Greek burgers, your cheese-filled burgers, a hot dog, with a piece of grilled chicken, on its own, on a fork – or a spoon – in your mouth.
|Greek Orzo Pasta Salad|
16 ounces orzo pasta
3 medium tomatoes
2 cucumbers peeled
1/3 green pepper
1/3 red pepper
1/2 medium red onion
4 ounces pitted kalamata olives
8 ounces crumbled feta
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Refrigerate until cool. Dice tomatoes and peeled cucumbers. Thinly slice peppers and red onion. Drain kalamata olives. Add vegetables and feta to large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Mix in cooled orzo pasta.
Whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar. Mix in oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Pour into pasta and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes a lot. I’d halve the recipe if it was just for our family dinner.
For more fresh tomato recipes, visit Tammy’s Recipe’s In-Season Recipe Swap.