Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Greek Orzo Salad

Although the current patch of bad weather would lead us to believe otherwise, summer is really upon us!    I'm definitely looking forward to the warmer weather, time at the beach, BBQ's, and picnics on the lawn at Ravinia.  Living just minutes from Ravinia growing up, packing a picnic and catching one of their concerts was a favorite summer tradition.  I've definitely seen Tony Bennett, the CSO, and Peter, Paul, and Mary more times than most would deem necessary!

Now, I'm not one of those intense glassware-and-candlebra-toting Ravinia goers , but I do pack a mean picnic.  This orzo salad is one of my favorite things to bring.  Easy to assemble, full of yummy stuff, and yielding enough for a crowd, it is well suited for a picnic, a party, or a barbeque.  I brought it along to Ravinia the other night to listen to Earth, Wind, and Fire with friends.  Despite almost getting washed away due to a burst of rainstorms, we had a great time and there was plenty of orzo salad for all.  I wish the same could be said for the lemon bars I made- they suffered a wet and soggy fate!

Greek Orzo Salad
16 ounces orzo pasta
2 bell peppers, diced (I like to use either red, orange, or yellow peppers to add color to the salad)
1 medium cucumber, deseeded and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 good-sized lemon
A couple tablespoons of finely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cook orzo according to package directions.  When al dente, drain and set aside to cool.
2.  Prepare all veggies and stir into cooked and cooled orzo.
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, and dill.
4.  Pour over the orzo and veggie mixture and stir to combine
5.  Fold in the crumbled feta and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I think that this is the salad that Meghan brought to our picnic in the pouring rain and I have to say that it was delicious. And easy to transport. Loved it....as usual.