Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo pasta, dressed with an assertive lemon and mustard vinaigrette, filled with crunchy cucumber, dill, olives and chickpeas makes a terrific summer salad. 

Course Picnic Food, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Canadian, Mediterranean-Inspired
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Adapted from "Food52 Mighty Salads"

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces orzo pasta
  • 2 seedless cucumbers, halved lenghtwise and sliced (or use 4 persian cucumbers, thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and sliced
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, grated
  • Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook the orzo in a large pot of salted water until tender, 7 to 9 minutes.  Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  While the pasta is cooking, mix together the vinaigrette:  whisk the lemon zest, juice, mustard, and shallot in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil and add the chopped dill.  Adjust the seasoning and set aside.  

  2. Pour the vinaigrette over the warm pasta and toss to coat.  Once the pasta has cooled to room temperature, fold in the cucumbers, olives, and chickpeas.  Transfer to your favorite salad bowl or serving dish and top with the feta cheese.  Serve and enjoy!  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.  Before serving leftover salad, refresh with additional lemon juice and olive oil, if desired.   

Recipe Notes

You can find the original recipe in the book "Mighty Salads" from the folks at Food52.