Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: Greek Orzo Salad

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Greek Orzo Salad

Opa! Do you remember the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" Where a young Greek woman marries a not-so Greek guy? I love that movie, and anytime that I think of anything with Greek cuisine - I think of this movie. The lead woman, Toula, says a memorable quote about how "There are three things that every Greek woman must do in life: marry Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone." Hmmm, that sounds so familiar to me but in a different sense because you could switch the word Greek for any other culture. Then my personal movie title would read "My Big Fat Cuban-Filipino Wedding" - that's my colorful life and heritage.

Like Greek culture, there is heavy focus on the wonderful cuisine and all the Mediterranean flavors. There are colorful flavors that I love from Greek cuisine like olive oil, feta cheese, oregano, artichokes, red onions and so much more. This colorful and flavorful Greek Orzo salad was easy to prepare and by adding fresh ingredients and tasteful briny olives and salty feta cheese. It's an explosion of flavors that feels heavy but it's quite light as well. This will taste better the longer it sits because the flavors meld together. Enjoy!

Greek Orzo Salad
Seen on Serious Eats - adapted from Taste of Home/All Recipes
2 cups orzo
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
16 to 18 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium red onion, small diced
12 pitted kalamata olives, cut into quarters
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, halved
½ tablespoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces fat feta cheese, crumbled or diced

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo for 8 minutes and drain.

In large serving bowl, add all the ingredients except the feta cheese and lemon juice. Mix everything well, and add the juice of the lemon. Taste for seasonings and add salt/pepper if needed. Gently stir in the feta cheese and serve cold or at room temperature.

Review: This was a delicious salad to pair with our Greek themed dinner. Eric was confused on this dish because he mistook orzo for rice, so it was a switch-eroo of palates whenever he took a bite. I loved the freshness and big bold colors of this dish, and I could eat an entire bowl of it all by itself. This healthy and delicious salad makes plenty of servings, and it would be perfect for entertaining at your next barbecue.

I'll end this with another funny quote from My Big Fat Greek Wedding - "I had to go to Greek school, where I learned valuable lessons such as, "If Nick has one goat and Maria has nine, how soon will they marry?"

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