15 September 2009

Orzo Pasta Salad My Way

Orzo Pasta Salad My Way

There's something about the birth of September that makes me want to get down to serious cooking, baking and comfort foods. The nights are a little cooler, the days a little shorter and there is what can only be described as a crisp scent to the air. I love the feeling of shuffling through fallen leaves and sitting by a cozy fire reading a good book with a cup of hot chocolate or better yet a glass of award winning wine.



Alas summer is still clinging on with it's hot, lazy summer days. Now don't get me wrong because I am all for relishing the lazy days of summer so that is why the barbecue is still raring to go at a moments notice. Each season has it's pleasures. I am always searching for special salads to add to my long list of favourites and this one fits the bill to a "T".

This tasty salad is a perfect compliment to a barbecued salmon or chicken dish with it's light citrusy lemon notes. It takes pasta to a whole new level using rice-shaped pasta. Orzo is Italian and means "barley". I frequently use it in soups, salads and baked casseroles. Despite its rice shape, orzo is not made out of rice but of hard wheat semolina. It is also known as risone in Italian, manéstra or kritharáki ("little barley") in Greek, and şehriye (in Turkish).

This is my entry to this week's Presto Pasta Nights which I am submitting to Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast . This week's event is being hosted by Sweet Kitchen so go ahead and check out her site. You will be glad you did.

**Orzo Pasta Salad**

1 cup orzo pasta
1 cup diced cucumber, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup champagne vinegar or other white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup red onion diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, mashed with a fork
1 small lemon, zest and juice
Salt and pepper

Cook orzo in boiling water approximately 8 minutes. until tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
Mix together champagne vinegar and rice wine vinegar and add to orzo immediately and allow to cool slightly.

Add oil, onion, lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir well.

When pasta is cooled to room temperature add cucumber, feta, salt and pepper and stir gently.

Chill for several hours to allow flavors to marry. Serve at room temperature if possible.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

25 comments:

  1. Orzo is really a wonderful invention! That recipe is delightful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. I made like 15 lbs of orzo salad last week - we are now eating it with every meal.

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  3. Great post. I too, love Fall and all the things you mentioned, but the end of summer does mean winter is not far off.

    Oh well, I am definitely going to enjoy your orzo salad. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

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  4. Aaaahhh, I love Autumn too! And Spring time, and Summer... as you say every season is special!
    Orzo is something I have yet to try, never seen it here.

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  5. what a delicious and gorgeous orzo pasta salad!

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  6. what a delicious and gorgeous orzo pasta salad!

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  7. I may have had orzo in Turkey, am not sure.. but I will pay close attention when I visit again Istanbul next month!

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  8. Love, love, love the feta in here with the champagne vinegar.

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  9. This salad is awesome Vall, look really tasty!! xgloria

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  10. This would make a great side dish for grilled lamb.

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  11. I like the interesting flavors in your dressing!!!! And then there is the creamy feta to smooth it all out!!!!

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  12. I don't cook with orzo enough, funny, because I love it! Thanks for the reminder.
    Any salad with feta is a winner for me!

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  13. I LOVE Orzo and your salad looks really good!

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  14. I love orzo. This looks a little like the farro dish I made the other night, but with cheese.

    Congrats on your award!

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  15. I love orzo and this is a great recipe! Feta is a delicious addition here!

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  16. I love your salad- great for these bridging days between the seasons. Happy crisp fall days coming.
    xox

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  17. delicious looking pasta salad, Val! I love to make pasta salads with orzo.

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  18. Oh, Val, this is so refreshing, and a perfect bridge between summer and fall. I'm absolutely making this one. It's something my whole family would adore!

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  19. Fall is my favorite season. Love to walk outside and smell the fresh air. What a beautiful salad you made Val.

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  20. What a lovely salad! Fall is my favourite season and this week the air in Toronto has definitely started to have a crispness to it that signals the end of summer so I will have to save this recipe for next spring.

    Thanks for participating in this week's PPN and I hope you will check back on Friday for the roundup.

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  21. I love this orzo salad! Looks beautiful and I love the combo of dill and feta!

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  22. Aggie inspired me to buy orzo and now you are giving me another reason to try! I need to get busy! Looks great Val!

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  23. I love coming up with new things to do with orzo pasta. Thanks for this one.

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  24. Quick and easy pasta salads are definitely the best, especially during the summer. I love the ingredients you've got in here - so fresh!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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