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Greek Orzo Salad

 I am always on the lookout for tasty salads to serve alongside our meals. We eat a lot of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern fare, so when I spotted a recipe on Epicurious for a Greek salad with orzo, I had to try it out.

Technically, this salad is not a true “Greek Salad” since authentic Greek salads don’t contain lettuce or vinegar.  But, this is definitely a tasty spin on a Greek salad. So, if you are having a Greek Salad purist over for dinner, you may want to call this something else…how about Mediterranean Orzo Salad?? 

I altered this recipe from one on Epicurious.com since theirs actually had you assemble the recipe in mason jars.  I didn’t see the point of me making it in mason jars just to dump it out immediately onto the plate… The salad is fairly simple to make and looks so colorful on the dinner table.

My husband really enjoys this salad but ends up pushing most of the orzo to the side of his plate, since he is not a big orzo fan (what is there NOT to like about orzo???…odd duck). 

This recipe makes enough to serve 4 as a main course or a crowd as a side dish.

Greek Orzo Salad
  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, slivered
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
  • 2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped romaine
  • 1/2 pound feta, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 4 to 8 peperoncini
  1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.
  2. Toss black-eyed peas, tomato, and parsley with vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toss together orzo, remaining tablespoon oil, cucumber, olives, onion, lemon zest and juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Combine orzo mixture and black-eyed pea mixture in a large bowl
  5. Make a bed of romaine lettuce on a serving plate.  Spoon the orzo-black-eyed pea mixture on top of lettuce.  Top with feta crumbles and peperoncini.
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