Mary is SO right! We are really lucky to have some really great markets in West Seattle. I’m a sucker for those stores that offer a wide selection of freshly made soups, sandwiches and salads because, quite honestly, I
firmly used to believe that those items taste better when someone else makes them for me (as long as they are fresh and “house”-made). You know what I mean! By the time you finish chopping, dicing, slicing, and cleaning, the soup/sandwich/salad you’re just kind of done… Well, that’s what I was thinking when I dished up a container full of pasta and veggies at the market this morning until I weighed it and looked at the price. Are you kidding me?! I’ve already got several boxes of pasta, a drawer full of veggies and oil and vinegar for vinaigrette at home. So, I decided to challenge myself to a salad cook-off. What a sense of accomplishment I feel about this salad! It was quick and easy, and after adjusting the seasonings it tastes SO much better than the one I bought. I used a combination of jarred and fresh items making the salad taste crispy and fresh. Finding inspiration again in my own kitchen – this is the reason I’m so happy to be writing this blog with Mary. Yay, us!
|Greek Orzo Salad||
- 1 lb. orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. each garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil
- 1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. dijon-style mustard
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup pomegranate (or red wine) vinegar
- 1/2 cup each red onion and yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup each sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives, diced
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and diced
- 8 oz. tomato and basil feta cheese
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Prepare the orzo according to the directions on the package. When it is cooked, pour it into a strainer and rinse it with cold water. Drain well. Put the orzo into a large mixing bowl.
- While the orzo is cooking, mix up the dressing by putting the oil, spices, mustard and sugar in a container with a lid. Cover and shake well. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and shake again.
- Pour about one cup of the dressing over the cooled pasta and stir well to coat. Toss in all of the vegetables, cheese and herbs. Add additional dressing, as desired. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts just prior to serving.