September 20, 2014

I love salad and I love pasta... My life is constant love triangle between the two loves. My mind wants me to eats carbs all day every day, but my thighs want me to eat salad forever. However, I think I may have found a compromise to keep both sides happy. For my birthday party, I concocted a pasta salad as neutral as Switzerland.

I skimmed pinterest and found a post something along the lines of "19 pasta salads to try this summer." Some looked deliciously decadent, some were asian-infused, however I always like to stick to my Mediterranean styles. I found one that was a "lemony-orzo" salad with feta and cucumber, and another one with tomatoes and broccoli. I did a mash-up of both!

Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

  1. 1 full box of orzo (1-1/2 cups)
  2. 3 tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  3. Juice and zest of one full lemon
  4. Parsley to taste
  5. 1 cup of broccoli
  6. Garlic salt to taste
  7. 1-1 and a 1/2 cups of feta cheese (depends on how Greek you are!)
  8. 1 whole cucumber, sliced
  9. 2 roma tomatoes, diced

Look at how many vitamins and minerals you're getting! These dark veggies are choc-full of 'em and green vegetables mean fiber. This picture above is like food porn to me. Eating pasta doesn't always have to be with a thick, creamy alfredo or garlic-wine sauce; it can be light and filling as well.

The reason I think this salad is a good mix is that it has the attributes of a salad and a pasta dish, but not too much of each. The orzo is a pasta, but it's a small pasta. The sauce is olive oil and lemon juice, it's refreshing. The veggies and cheese give it some hearty texture. It's a square meal!

First, I would cook the Orzo according to directions on the box. Then, I would get a pot of steaming water and steam the broccoli until the color is darker. You can skip that part, but I prefer steamer over raw broccoli. Then, you can chop up your veggies. Make sure your broccoli isn't overcooking.

Whenever your broccoli is soft and your pasta is all cooked, drain them both. You can keep the broccoli with the other chopped veggies, and put the orzo in the refrigerator to let it cool. It's very important to let the orzo cool so that the feta doesn't melt away!

In a bowl, mix the oil and lemon juice. You can use a cheese grater to zest the lemon by grating the skin. Mix that in, too!

When the orzo is cooled, mix in the veggies, feta, and dressing (oil and lemon). 

There you have it! This salad was a huge hit at my party might I add. I had a few people ask me for this recipe. Now, I can just tell them to look on my blog.

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