Recipe: Greek Orzo Salad with Capers, Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives

by Kelsey

This Greek Orzo salad is a summer staple in my family – I remember my mom would make a big batch of it and then separate it into smaller containers for my sister and I based on what we did or didn’t want in our portion. It is incredibly easy to make.

Orzo is Italian and literally means “barley,” but in the United States it has come to describe a rice-like pasta made not from rice, but from hard wheat semolina.

A recommendation: if serving to a group, do what my mom did and personalize portions of it by having bowls of crumbled feta, chopped Kalamata olives, capers and red onion (or diced roma tomato, cucumbers) on the side – everyone likes their salad differently. Keep reading for the full recipe.

Greek Orzo Salad
2 cups dry orzo
2/3 cup capers, drained
3/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil a large pot of water – when it reaches a boil, salt the water generously. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the onion and olives and juice the lemons.
2. Boil the orzo for 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on the doneness because overcooked orzo will be the wrong texture for the salad. The orzo should be soft all the way through.
3. When the orzo is soft all the way through, drain it, and pour immediately into a large bowl of ice-water. Drain immediately and pour into a large mixing bowl.
4. Add the olive oil and immediately stir orzo so that the pasta doesn’t stick to itself.
5. Add the vegetables, feta cheese, lemon juice (add sparingly – you can always add more later), a dash of salt and pepper. Stir well to coat orzo evenly.
6. Store salad in a sealable container or cover bowl with plastic wrap – place in refrigerator and let sit for at least an hour before serving. Refrigerated salad should last for 3-5 days.

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