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Summer orzo salad


Happy Tuesday! For a recent dinner party, guests were asked to bring a favorite side dish to share. While we have many favorites, we wanted to whip up something new! Enter this amazingly fresh and flavorful (and colorful!) orzo salad. It's the perfect side for summer -- the herbs pack a lot of punch, and the ingredients come together for a light dish that even the pickiest of eaters will love. And it sure is pretty displayed in our tried and true Beatriz Ball serving bowl.

Keeping it real: The hardest part of this recipe is chopping and dicing the veggies ... and waiting for the orzo to cook. But trust us when we say, it came together quickly and easily. We made this ahead and stored in the fridge, which added more flavor (and saved time ahead of the party). This orzo salad is a keeper, and we'll be making it again (and again) for summer cookouts.


xo,

Natalie & Ashley


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 12 ounces dried orzo pasta (about 2 cups)

  • 1 12-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 large English cucumber, diced

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1.5 cups)


Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and a few grinds of black pepper together in a large bowl; set aside.

  2. Add the orzo to the water and cook until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and run briefly under cool water to cool the orzo down. Drain well again.

  3. Add the orzo, artichoke hearts, peppers, cucumber, red onion and olives to the bowl of dressing. Toss thoroughly to combine. Add the parsley and feta and toss again. Let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

*Note: The pasta can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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