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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chunky Greek Orzo Salad

If I had a very large quantity of this salad and a diving board overhead, I would literally dive in head first!  There are just some flavor blends that work.  The mix and meld of fresh basil, garlic, kalamata olives, cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese is a timeless classic that agrees most taste buds that I'm acquainted with...even those that are only a few years old!  My kids love all these foods.  Orzo, a small, rice-shaped pasta, is the perfect canvas for the artful taste these combined ingredients create.

Chunky Greek Orzo Salad

8 oz. Orzo Pasta (cooked)
2 Cucumbers 
1 box Cherry Tomatoes
1 jar Kalamata Olives (drained and rinsed)
1/2 Red Onion
1 package Feta Cheese Crumbles
Handful of fresh Basil Leaves
3/4 cup Olive Oil
splash of Red Wine Vinegar
2 minced Garlic Cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste
1.  While the pasta is boiling, peel and finely chop the cucumber.  Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, finely chop the olives and red onion and roughly chop the basil leaves.
2.  Mix all ingredients in a decorative bowl or large tupperware if making ahead.
3. In a measuring cup, whisk vinaigrette ingredients and then pour over the salad.
4.  Stir everything together and enjoy.

Packed with veggies, this would be a great make-ahead lunch for a busy work week...that would leave you feeling energized throughout the rest of your day.  Want to make it one level healthier?  Substitute a healthy grain like quinoa or farro for the pasta.  The picnic season is upon us!  So make this the next time your family and friends gather for a lovely outdoor feast!