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.
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.
If you are looking for an easy appetizer recipe, this is it! Black olives blended with just enough anchovy to make a delicious tapenade. It’s delicious and not fishy at all. I like to think of it as an alternative to caviar. Serve it mounded on top of toasted bread slices, or in a dish along along with warm French bread. It only takes minutes to prepare. What I love about this black olive tapenade is how mild it is. I can eat it all day, unlike many tapenades that are super salty and olive-y.
I originally had this tapenade when I lived in Salem, Massachusetts. There is a cozy little Italian restaurant there and they serve this black olive tapenade with crusty bread. Every time I went, we would practically lick the dish clean, the tapenade was so good. I finally asked them what was it it and they told me it contained anchovies! I had no idea. I think another reason I like it so much is because it is made with canned black olives. They are very mild, making this a tapenade that isn’t overpowering. The addition of a small garlic clove and lots of good extra virgin olive oil round out the flavors perfectly.
This will be the last recipe I’ll be squeezing in before Thanksgiving. We will be busy visiting family for the rest of the week. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday with their friends and family!
Add the garlic clove to a food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add olives, anchovy, and the olive oil. Pulse until combined. Add the pepper and lemon juice (if using) oil and process until smooth, but not a paste.