Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean OrzoThere are a couple things about eating on the Greek Islands that I can definitely resonate with. Maybe it’s the weather or the laid back lifestyle, but everything is so light and healthy. Here on Folegandros, if you’re not at the beach or on the water, you’re walking or hiking. Most of the workforce here is based outdoors. From farming to fishing to carpentry, people on the islands either love the outdoors or are outdoors because of necessity (or both). I don’t know about you but if I have to be outside all day, the last thing I want to eat is something heavy. Unlike anywhere else in Greece I’ve been thus far, nary a souvlaki stand is here to see and I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit grateful. I went out to eat one evening to one of the oldest restaurants in Folegandros. Even for dinner, the meal was light and refreshing and most importantly fresh. Seafood is caught maybe a couple hours earlier and is what most people on the island eat everyday. For this reason, light salads are most often the only side or in this case turned into a light and fresh main. I’ve recreated this refreshing salad with a variety of textures to replace the seafood. From juicy tomatoes and briny olives, to crisp cucumbers and celery, it makes for a satisfying lunch, picnic salad to a light meal on the go. This is the perfect pasta to make ahead as the flavours meld together well. For some added flavour and protein, top this salad with some vegan feta. To make this recipe gluten free, simply replace the orzo with your favourite gluten free pasta.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 125g (1 1/4 cups) orzo
  • 1x 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 150g (1 cup) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, diced
  • 70g (1/2 cup) Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 35g (1/3 cup) celery, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  1. To cook the orzo, bring a saucepan full of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to package instructions or just until tender. Drain and run cold water over the orzo in a colander, then drain again.
  2. Transfer the orzo to a large bowl and add the chickpeas, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, celery and parsely. Set aside
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, sugar, orgeano, basil, salt and pepper. Whisk the oil in slowly until emulsified and smooth. Pour onto the salad and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving

orzo salad


Mediterranean Orzo Salad




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