I’ve shared a lot of recipes so far on Love and Duck Fat, but I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS LONG to share this one. You see, my orzo salad recipe is legendary (in my small circle of friends and family). It has actually made an appearance once on my blog before in photos, but I never got around to posting the recipe. You can see it here at my son’s first birthday party.
Orzo salad is one of the recipes I make over and over. I serve it at parties, I pack it up for lunch, we eat it for dinner, late night snacks and even the occasional breakfast–and we never tire of it.
The inspiration for my orzo salad recipe first came from Whole Food’s orzo salad; which is good. When I lived in Boston, I regularly picked up a pint of it on my way to work. I decided to improve on their recipe, which is why this salad is so much better. I make sure that every bite has something fresh and yummy in it. The mix of tastes and textures make this orzo salad so much fun to eat. There’s feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, baby spinach, artichokes, black olives, roasted peppers, balsamic vinegar and lots of good olive oil. I mix in fresh herbs like rosemary and mint and they really amp up the flavor.
Most of these ingredients are something I keep on hand in my pantry and refrigerator at all times, so it’s easy to make this salad whenever I want. It’s also easy to customize, adding or subtracting whatever you have on hand or desire.
Once made, this orzo salad keeps well too. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days and still be as good as when you first made it. Bring it to a pot luck or serve it at a barbecue this summer and see it disappear. Every time I make it, I get asked for the recipe, which is why I’m so happy to finally share it here with everyone on Love and Duck Fat.
If you do make this salad, I would love to hear how much you enjoyed it in the comment section below.
Orzo Salad Recipe
- 1 pound (2 cups) dry orzo pasta
- drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion (OR sliced green onion)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (OR ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves)
- 1 jar (14 oz.) baby artichokes, drained
- ¼ cup black olives OR kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- Feta cheese (8 ounces), sliced and crumbled
- 1 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1 whole roasted red bell pepper, drained and sliced
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- ¾ cup vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the water. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 7 minutes). Drain pasta and add it to a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss. Allow to cool completely.
Using a small skillet toast the pine nuts over medium-high heat until they are slightly brown and fragrant.
Toss the orzo with the pine nuts, tomato, onion, herbs, artichokes, olives, feta cheese, cucumber and red pepper.
Add the spinach leaves and vinaigrette. Toss again. Taste and season with salt and pepper.