This fresh and simple, cold pasta dish is a perfect summer side salad or main dish served alongside a veggie centric meal. For optimal flavor and nutritional value, be sure to take advantage of your local farmer’s market offerings to load up on the fresh veggies and herbs in this dish. Cherry tomatoes are seasonally most flavorful and abundant in late summer as these warm-weathered plants need some time to grow and mature.
Prep Time: 40 Minutes
1 1/2 Cups Orzo Pasta, uncooked
2 Pints Red Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
2 Cups Persian Cucumber, chopped
1 Red Onion, chopped
1 Cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 Jar (2 ounce) Kalamata Olives, drained and roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 Lemon, juiced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Dash of Red Chili Pepper Flake (optional)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add orzo pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Drain and follow with a brief rinse of cold water to prevent the pasta from cooking further, maintaining an al dente texture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Toss the pasta with olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, and a bit of salt. Next, add the red onion, cucumber, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Coat with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar.
Sprinkle on the feta cheese and fresh parsley, before seasoning with salt, pepper and red chili pepper flake to taste. Toss well and serve immediately or refrigerate for 1-2 hours to serve as as a crunchy, refreshing summer salad.