Greek Orzo Salad

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greekorzosalad1

A few years back my friend Marie asked me what she could bring to my daughter’s summer birthday party as a side dish to BBQ foods. I wasn’t sure what she should bring and she suggested an Orzo Salad. Since everything she makes is amazing, I said, “Sure!” It was such a huge hit! Everyone loved it and since then it has earned a permanent place on my food table for my daughter’s birthday parties. I am sure there are similar recipes floating around the internet, this one was clipped out of a local newspaper.

Ingredients:

1 cup Orzo
6 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small red onion, minced
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup minced parsley
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 English cucumber diced
12 Greek olives, halved and pitted
6 ounces feta cheese

In large saucepan bring 2 quarts water to a vigorous boil. Add orzo and cook until slightly at dente (8 to 10 minutes). Rinse, drain, and place in 2 quart serving dish, toss with 1 tablespoon oil.

Whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, onion, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley. Pour over orzo, cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Toss remaining ingredients with orzo mixture before serving.

Serves 8

Notes:

It’s important to use fresh parsley rather than dried because the fresh parsley is part of the great flavor.
I have made this recipe the day before by following the instructions above and refrigerating. I also chopped the cucumbers and tomatoes and put them in separate containers in the frig. Right before serving I added the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and feta. This ensures those ingredients stay fresh and don’t get soggy soaking in the marinade overnight.

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